MISSISSAUGA, Canada—True art moves people beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary, allowing one to reflect on one’s own path in life while being immersed in a completely new experience.
Many audiences of Shen Yun Performing Arts have experienced this feeling and it was no different at Mississauga’s Living Arts Centre on April 27.
Matthew Wright, an advertising professional, said he was impressed by the creativity of the performance, particularly the way the visual aspects were combined with the lushness of the music.
“I think it transports you,” he said.
“It’s the type of thing that has the ability to put you in a different mindset.”
Mr. Wright, who specialized in music in high school, believes that music has the power to connect to the soul.
For him, the lush pastel colours in the backdrop and in the costumes “interact with and represent different emotions of the music.”
“I think there’s a great ability to tie the colours of the costumes and the music to create levity when it’s necessary, to create tension when it’s necessary.”
Mr. Wright was also impressed by the unity of the dancers.
“The overall synchronicity of the movement is really interesting. You can tell there’s obviously a ton of time that has gone into the training and it’s very evident when it comes to the overall cohesiveness of the performance,” he said.
Established in 2006 by overseas Chinese artists, Shen Yun has set out to present 5,000 years of glorious civilization on stage to audiences across the globe.
“I think it’s a good primer for people, especially growing up in a Western nation, who maybe don’t fully understand the struggles and especially the rich heritage. It’s a good way to put yourself in the mindset to better understand what that represents and what that means.”
Mr. Wright said that after watching Shen Yun, he would take with him “an overall greater appreciation for Chinese culture, but also just a really phenomenal entertaining experience.”
A Family Lesson
For enterprise architect Igor Milojevic and his family, the experience of watching Shen Yun was also one to remember.
“It’s a nice escape out of the daily routine to get into the world of the past, and of the culture that’s so rich and goes so far back,” he said noting that they will continue to talk after the performance going forward.
“I think it’s a fantastic show,” said his 14-year old daughter, Ana. “You can see how much time and effort they put into their work. They dance with so much effort and beauty, and grace …”
Shen Yun presents performances of classical Chinese dance, as well as folk and ethnic dances from China’s different regions. Classical Chinese dance has been passed down for thousands of years, preserving and passing down 5,000 years of glorious civilization.
Ana noticed the depth expressed in each movement.
“There’s such a storyline under each dance—you can tell they’re trying to portray some sort of meaning or a past experience in what they’re doing.
“It’s truly a fantastic show,” she said.
Her 7-year old sister, Ema, said she usually spends much time watching TV or with her tablet, but this time she was happy she got the opportunity to do something different.
“I like that it’s really funny, and it’s really enthusiastic with all the costumes,” she noted of the performance.
Her father also appreciated the humour in some of the dances, especially “Monkey King and the Dragon Palace,” drawn from the famed Chinese classical novel “Journey to the West.”
In the story, the Monkey King visits the Dragon King’s palace at the bottom of the sea, looking for a weapon worthy of his mighty powers. Yet little does the Dragon King expect that the Monkey King’s perfect weapon is the pillar responsible for stabilizing the sea.
For Ana, Shen Yun proved to be an eye-opening experience.
“When I grow up I want to be an author, a novel writer, and this actually shows me that writing down things or putting on a TV show or a play isn’t the only way you can express your opinions of a certain storyline or a plot,” she said referring to the dance.
“It’s truly a fantastic way to learn a new art path. It’s truly amazing,” she said.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company is currently touring Eastern Canada. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.