Shen Yun Is ‘Absolutely Tremendous,’ Says Visual Artist

December 28, 2014 Updated: December 28, 2014

HAMILTON, Canada—Visual artist and writer Gaiyle Connolly wanted to see Shen Yun Performing Arts last year but didn’t make it. This time around she made sure to buy tickets for herself and three family members the first day the show was advertised.

“It is absolutely tremendous,” Ms. Connolly said of the lavish production showcasing traditional Chinese culture after seeing it at Hamilton Place Theatre on Sunday afternoon.

Naturally the ‘Magic Paintbrush’ just stole my heart.
— visual artist and writer Gaiyle Connolly
“I’m a visual artist and plus I have a background in Asian studies so I’m just enthralled with everything and obviously the visual nature, the colours, the effects. Naturally the ‘Magic Paintbrush’ just stole my heart.”

She was referring to the The Fable of the Magic Brush, which tells of a young painter who befriends a mysterious maiden and defends her from a band of ruffians. In gratitude, she gives him a magical brush that turns anything it paints into life.

Every aspect of the performance held something special for Ms. Connolly.

“Aside from colour of course, like I said, the textural nature of it, the special effects, the three-dimensional nature of it, the variety, the costumes from all the different parts of China—just tremendous,” she said.

A piece that particularly resonated with her was The Power of Compassion, which depicts the injustice and brutality of a modern-day tragedy in China—the ongoing repression of adherents of Falun Dafa, a spiritual discipline rooted in ancient Chinese culture.

“I think that was interesting to put that in to show, not just the surface, not just the beauty or the history of things, but the reality of things as well,” she said.

According to its website, Shen Yun’s mission is to revive the five millennia of China’s divinely inspired culture, which was all but destroyed as a result of communist campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution.

“For 5,000 years divine culture flourished in the land of China. Humanity’s treasure was nearly lost, but through breathtaking music and dance, Shen Yun is bringing back this glorious culture,” the website says.

Reporting by New Tang Dynasty Television and Joan Delaney

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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.