Shen Yun ‘whimsical, playful, graceful,’ Says Former Dancer

January 26, 2014 Updated: February 25, 2014

VANCOUVER—Shen Yun Performing Arts graced the stage one last time at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday evening before the company wrapped up its three-day, four-show run in Vancouver to continue on its world tour.

Friends Hilda Terzian and Margit were among those who attended the final performance.

“I really enjoyed it,” said. Ms. Terzian, who used to do Armenian folk dance and performed at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

“It gives a bit of history, it’s good to have that knowledge, and through the arts as well. It’s beautiful, very well done. Whimsical, playful, graceful—it was gorgeous, we enjoyed it.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun was formed by a group of leading classical Chinese artists who aim to revive China’s divinely inspired culture.

At the heart of Shen Yun performances is classical Chinese dance; however, the company also features folk and ethnic dance from different regions of China.

Ms. Terzian said she appreciated learning the story behind each dance.

“There’s no language barrier—dance is for anyone to observe and take in. It’s well done, the way the stories are told,” she said.

She also praised the technique and physical ability of the dancers.

“I know it takes a lot of dedication for the dancers to be where they are, and for them to share that art with everybody else, that’s what makes life meaningful.”

Margit shared her friend’s appreciation of Shen Yun, saying she enjoyed seeing the hundreds of colourful costumes in the performance.

“I particularly enjoyed the costumes,” she said.

Each Shen Yun performance includes at least 20 presentations. Many of these are story-based dances, which dramatically portray legendary stories and heroes of China’s past and present.

According to the Shen Yun website, each of the presentations express cherished virtues of traditional Chinese culture, and have a timeless message or moral to teach—something that resonated with Margit.

“There’s so much in modern ballet in the Western world now, where I just can’t go anymore. There are no costumes, they’re constantly undressing, it’s just awful. And here, it’s so dignified, it’s so elegant.

“For me, that’s a relief that it still exists somewhere, so I think this helps people realize that, you know, there’s a beautiful way to present dance. You don’t have to make it ugly.”

Commenting on the themes of the Shen Yun dances, Margit said it’s important for a culture’s legends to be preserved.

“Legends work on the imagination, and they’re not fixed, like a lot of reality shows. [Reality shows] are very prosaic, and it makes people look exactly like they look, and use everyday language, which can be very boring,” said Margit.

“But legends lift you up to another dimension … and gradually as you get older, you realize there’s an underlying meaning, so it can always nourish you. It’s very good to keep legends alive, so I really appreciate that in this dance performance. It connects the generations to each other.”

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.