MONTREAL, Canada—Place des Arts was the place to be on Wednesday, Jan. 7, as theatregoers packed in for the opening night of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Company president Tony Mancini braved the frigid temperatures and extreme cold warnings to attend the performance with his wife, France Pilon, for the first time.
“This is really fantastic,” said Mr. Mancini, president of office supply and furniture company Mancini & Associates Inc.
“The scenery, the costumes—it was really nice.”
“It was magnificent,” added Ms. Pilon.
The mission of New York-based Shen Yun, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, is to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture through the performing arts.
Featuring story-based dance that upholds traditional Chinese values, and folk dances from China’s many ethnic regions, Shen Yun “takes you on an extraordinary journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom,” says the Shen Yun website.
Ms. Pilon was entranced by the story “The Fable of the Magic Brush.” In this scene, a form-changing celestial being gives a young painter a magic brush that brings to physical life the things painted.
The painter paints a rice granary to feed his village, but the brush is soon stolen by thugs, who throw the painter into the sea. There he finds a beautiful underwater palace. Meanwhile, the ruffians cannot use the magic brush, as it only obeys those who paint with a pure heart.
“It was a great experience,” said Ms. Pilon, a French teacher at Laval University. “The colours, the costumes, the dancing–everything was wonderful!”
She was also impressed by the digitally animated backdrops that interact with the performers on stage and help to bring each dance story to life. According to the Shen Yun website, the backdrops reflect landscapes from China’s “multifaceted geography, society, regions, and dynasties,” as well as heavenly paradises.
Mr. Mancini said he would return to see the performance again next year and would recommend it to his friends.
With reporting by Taurus Xie and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.