MONTREAL—The dancing, the vocal soloists, and the groundbreaking backdrops were just some of the aspects of Shen Yun Performing Arts that impressed Sylvain Chenail at Place des Arts on Jan. 10.
“I liked the show very much. I liked very much the colours, the energy, the dancing,” said Mr. Chenail, owner of Gci Experts En Energie Inc., a management consulting company in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
“I really don’t know anything about the history of China but it’s very interesting to learn about.”
Shen Yun showcases China’s traditional culture, and with 5,000 years of history, that culture provides an abundant treasure trove of stories and heroes—many of which have been depicted in the performance over the years.
Principles like benevolence, propriety, divine retribution, and respect for the heavens were the essence of traditional culture, according to the Shen Yun website. These are among the values that originated from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, the three religions that formed the basis of China’s age-old civilization.
“That’s interesting to have dance at the same time as the history, and also the stories,” he said.
“The dance, it’s really artistic, just artistic.”
He said having a story in many of the dances, along with spiritual values and a production that incorporates Shen Yun’s digitally projected backdrop was very well done.
Mr. Chenail’s wife, Brigitte Larocque, said she was moved to tears.
“The spiritual things that we saw, I cried a little bit,” she said, singling out “The power of Compassion,” a contemporary piece depicting the ongoing repression of adherents of Falun Dafa, a spiritual discipline rooted in ancient Chinese traditions.
The piece tells how a Communist Party police officer slips and hurts his knee while trying to violently apprehend a young meditator. The young man stops trying to flee and helps him, leading to an unexpected outcome for the officer.
“It touched me. With the dance we can feel everything,” she said. “It was touching your heart.”
“It was compassion,” said her husband.
Another high point for the couple was Shen Yuns’ digitally animated backdrop, which synchronizes perfectly with the dancers to create a world where heaven and earth are one and interact in magical ways.
“It’s very interesting. It’s very dynamic,” said Mr. Chenail.
“I really appreciated it,” said Ms. Larocque. “It was so beautiful to mix the spiritual things on the backscreen and that it comes into the dance … comes into real life. It’s amazing.”
She also enjoyed “Your Long-Awaited Song” by soprano Yu Ming.
“It was very, very nice. Very good,” she said. “The meaning of the song, it was so great. It’s something that people have to remember—where we come from.”
“There is a lot of a war and things like that but this show reminds us that there is something behind that and that we have to come back to spiritual things. … It touched me.”
Reporting by DezhongHong and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. 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 reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.