MONTREAL, Canada—Shen Yun Performing Arts played the first of six shows at Montreal’s Place des Arts on Jan. 7, delighting the audience with its portrayal of ancient Chinese culture through music and dance.
Rim Zid, a lecturer at the University of Montreal, and Zeineb Ouni, a researcher at Université du Québec à Montréal, enjoyed Shen Yun’s magic as it took the audience on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese civilization.
“What I can truly say that it is so beautiful, it is very nice on the eyes. You could even say that there is a certain power of beauty; you really see it that there is a certain power of beauty. It’s just beautiful,” said Ms. Ouni.
“It’s pretty, it’s colourful, it’s Chinese traditions,” said Ms. Zid.
Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the Middle Kingdom’s authentic traditional culture—the culture that existed for 5,000 years before the Chinese Communist Party came to power 65 years ago and set about destroying it, according to the performance company’s website.
Ms. Ouni said she has “always felt that it’s really a different culture that is very intriguing” and that she would like to know more about it—something Shen Yun achieved, she felt.
“I think this show gives you an idea, it confirms things,” she said, adding that the performance left her with a feeling of serenity.
“It gives you a feeling of peace and tranquility with the music and everything. We feel like we are flourishing.”
The hallmark of Shen Yun is classical Chinese dance, an art form passed down over millennia in the Middle Kingdom’s imperial courts, theatres, and operas.
Classical Chinese dance emphasizes something called “bearing.” According to Shen Yun’s website, bearing “emphasizes internal spirit, breath, intent, personal aura, and deep emotional expression.”
“With the soul of the dancers, they are very professional, they really are experts in their field,” said Ms. Ouni.
Alexandre Harel and his wife, Isabelle Pépin, were also impressed by Shen Yun’s presentation.
“It’s very good, it’s very interesting,” said Mr. Harel, president of an air-conditioning company.
“I did not know what to expect, but I’m impressed.”
He liked “the colours, the dance, and also the videos in the background,” he said, referring to Shen Yun’s groundbreaking animated backdrops.
He also noted the athleticism in classical Chinese dance, which includes leaps, spins, flips, and tumbling techniques—moves that were borrowed and popularized in the West as gymnastics and acrobatics, but originated in classical Chinese dance.
“There is a lot of movement in the dance—it is a dance that is fast,” he said.
“Very artistic,” said Ms. Pepin.
“We learned so much from the show,” added Mr. Harel.
“I would say we really got an eyeful there,” said his wife.
Reporting by Nathalie Dieul and Joan Delaney
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.