TORONTO—Auto boss Phil Martiniello had a tough day at work, but all the tension melted away as he sat back to take in the opening-night performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sony Centre on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
“I had a very stressful and long day today, and so this has been the perfect antidote for that,” he said. “It’s been wonderful—very soothing and relaxing.”
Mr. Martiniello, the general manager of the Acura of North Toronto dealership and an experienced industry veteran, had a wonderful time attending the Shen Yun performance with his stepdaughter.
“I am loving it!” he said. “The dance is very unique—I have never seen anything like it. It is visually stunning. The colours and the sound are just fantastic as well.”
New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture through the performing arts. This rich culture—influenced by the three pillars of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism—is beautiful and inspiring, said Mr. Martiniello.
“There is a lot of spirituality and a lot of nature involved and it’s very nice,” he said. “It’s just very beautiful.”
He appreciated the high-tech digitally animated backdrops that accompany the 20-plus vignettes in the production, which add vivid context—from lavish royal courts and vast open grasslands to mountain-top monasteries and heavenly palaces and more.
“It’s very beautiful. It’s a very nice effect to have the reality melding into the animated side. … It is very interesting, pleasing,” he said.
The blending of reality and animation is a special effect Shen Yun has pioneered, where the backdrops and dancers are perfectly timed to create the illusion that the performers can jump in and out of the screen.
‘Message of Freedom’
In addition to ancient Chinese myths and legends, Shen Yun also features modern-day stories of compassion and courage that highlight peaceful responses to persecution waged by the current communist regime in China. Mr. Martiniello appreciated the spirit of hope and humanity in the performance.
“I like the message of freedom, the voice of freedom,” he said. “That message of no oppression and just freedom and equality for everybody—the message of being kind, [and of] happiness.”
Reporting by Madalina Hubert and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will perform in Toronto until Jan. 25. 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 reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.