Shen Yun ‘Is Absolutely Exhilarating and Beautiful and Life-Enriching’
VANCOUVER—For Erika Smith, seeing Shen Yun’s portrayal of China’s ancient culture onstage at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Jan. 18 was an enriching experience.
“It is absolutely exhilarating and beautiful and life-enriching—enrichment. It’s absolutely gorgeous, the colours and the dancing and also the history. The history is very nice,” said Ms. Smith, a retired accountant and businesswoman who does ballroom dancing.
China’s rich dynastic history, majestic landscapes, and diverse ethnic groups provide ample fodder for Shen Yun. The New York-based group takes legends and tales from the Middle Kingdom’s 5,000-year history and presents them to audiences through music and dance.
“The history—you know, we learned something,” said Ms. Smith.
“I’m a ballroom dancer, so I like dancing in particular, and the history with the dances—really nice. Also, the opera singer was very nice. I love opera.”
In its portrayal of traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun features mainly classical Chinese dance, one of the richest and most expressive art forms in the world. It includes challenging jumps, spins, flips, and tumbles.
Ms. Smith was impressed.
“It’s very, very difficult, I would say, but beautiful, very light. The training must be very hard. The dances are all beautiful,” she said.
Ms. Smith added that she appreciates that Shen Yun is bringing China’s rich culture to the world.
“That is wonderful. In order to tell the Western world what the traditional Chinese history and dance was—that’s wonderful,” she said.
The Jan. 18 performance was Shen Yun’s final of a four-show run in Vancouver. The group will next play six shows at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto from Jan. 22-25.
Reporting by NTD Television and Joan Delaney