MONTREAL, Canada—Vic Para, a musician and real estate broker, had a new world of classical Chinese dance opened to him at Place des Arts on Wednesday by Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“It was fantastic. I really enjoyed it,” he said.
Mr. Para, who plays multiple instruments and many kinds of music, said it was very interesting to see original Chinese cultural artistry. He was impressed with Shen Yun’s unique symphony orchestra.
“It was fantastic. I though it was great the way the orchestra mixed with the old Chinese instruments melted with the modern new orchestra, I thought it was fantastic.”
Shen Yun also features three vocal soloists, who sing bel canto style but in Mandarin, a unique musical feat.
“The tenor was the highlight for me,” said Mr. Para. “He was fantastic.”
He was also appreciative of erhu virtuoso Mei Xua’s musical solo.
“She was fantastic. Being a guitar player, I could see how small the neck was on her instrument and how well she fingered the board and played with the bow. It was very, very nice to listen to her.”
The erhu is China’s two-stringed violin, an instrument with an impressive range and soulful, sometimes mournful, sound.
The mainstay of any Shen Yun performance is classical Chinese dance, an artform with a history spanning thousands of years, passed down and enriched dynasty after dynasty.
“The choreography was great,” said Mr. Para.
He said he bought tickets to Shen Yun as a Christmas gift to his wife Ann and it was their first time to attend the performance.
She appreciated her gift.
“I loved it, it was very entertaining. Very colourful, very beautiful,” she said.
“It’s nice to see the Chinese people expressing the culture as they can’t in China anymore, so it was very interesting to see a free production come in from people outside of mainland China,” she said.
Shen Yun, which is based in New York, was founded on a mission to revive China’s 5,000-year-long divinely-inspired culture, a heritage largely destroyed after 60 years of communist rule.
Also in attendance was Robert Bélanger, the general manager of Quattro Lighting, company that engineers and manufactures innovative outdoor lighting for municipalities and developers across North America.
In describing Shen Yun, Mr. Bélanger said, “It’s fast, it’s vast, and it makes us travel through Chinese culture.”
He said Chinese spirituality was demonstrated through the performing arts Shen Yun presented.
“It makes us travel through different ancient periods of Chinese history. It’s interesting,” he said.
He said Shen Yun’s staging was also engaging, notably the company’s digitally projected animated backdrop.
He was particularly touched by a dance set in contemporary China where a mother who practices Falun Gong—a spiritual discipline persecuted in communist China—was separated from her daughter and later reunited.
With reporting by Nathalie Dieul and Fu Ming
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in Montreal until Jan. 9 before going on to Hamilton. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.