Shen Yun ‘Illuminating, Fascinating,’ Says Music Historian
MONTREAL, Canada—As a professor of music history at the University of Montreal, Sabina Ratner is interested in learning more about different cultures around the world. That is why she came to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at Montréal’s Place des Arts on Jan. 9.
“It was very interesting to get the panoramic view of everything that is Chinese within the last number of centuries,” Ms. Ratner said.
“My girlfriend came to discover the dance and I did the music. In general, we found it very interesting.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun has a mission to revive China’s divinely inspired culture.
“Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture,” states Shen Yun’s website.
Shen Yun dance performances are accompanied by a live orchestra that blends traditional Chinese instruments with a classical Western orchestra, creating a unique sound.
“The sound has a particularly Chinese feeling, and it helped us understand the culture a little better,” Ms. Ratner said, adding that she also enjoyed the erhu solo by Mei Xuan. The erhu is an ancient two stringed instrument that produces a rich, mournful sound.
“The erhu, we enjoyed that very much.”
She said the dances, along with the music, presented the storyline to the audience very well, and would pique people’s interest in Chinese culture and mythology.
“The dance of the lotus we found especially beautiful,” she said, referring to the piece “The Steadfast Lotus,” which depicts the power of faith in overcoming tribulations.
Ms. Ratner pointed to some of the themes she observed in the performance, including the role of the divine and good conquering evil.
She also noted the coordination of the colours; Shen Yun features hundreds of colourful handmade costumes. The animated digital backdrops that set the stage are also vividly colourful.
Shen Yun is “illuminating, fascinating, and of special interest to people who are interested in different cultures,” Ms. Ratner said.
Reporting by NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company finished its Montreal performances on Thursday and will now go on to Hamilton, Ontario. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006