TORONTO—Shen Yun Performing Art’s production of classical Chinese dance and music is back in Toronto this weekend, having launched it’s tenth tour of Eastern Canada on April 21.
Michael Pourvakil, owner of Weaver’s Art, Toronto’s largest manufacturer of high-end handmade rugs, was in attendance for the April 22 performance at the Sony Centre. He said the experience was very exciting, yet relaxing at the same time.
“The whole performance was very seamless, it was just very spectacular,” he said.
“The scenery, the stage, the colours, the music, everything. It was very relaxing and beautiful. We’ll definitely come [next year] as well.”
The movements of classical Chinese dance, steeped in 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture, left a deep impression on Mr. Pourvakil.
“The movements were so fluid, it’s just like they’re flying on the stage—incredible,” he said.
He especially noted the stark differences between male and female movements.
“The women–it looked like they were walking on water or it was a moving stage because it was so fluid–floating all over the stage,” he said.
Classical Chinese dance is rich with expressive power because the dance movements aim to bring out the inner meaning of the dancers’ intrinsic thoughts and feelings, according to the Shen Yun website. Therefore, they are able to reflect profound ideas like “the peculiarities of human nature, the standard for human conduct, moral concepts, mental state, one’s value system,” and so on.
New York-based Shen Yun has a mission to revive classical Chinese culture and art forms. Mr. Pourvakil said Shen Yun’s highly entertaining format is an excellent way to bring the culture to wider audiences.
“The more the people in the West realize how beautiful and rich the Chinese culture is, people will appreciate it a lot more,” he said.
“You learn about the history of the country and the different forms of art. All in all it was a wonderful experience and all my friends loved it, too,” he said.
Mike Irwin, a language and history teacher, also attended the April 22 performance, and said it was clear the performers were at the top of their craft.
“For these people to be at the level they’re at, I can only imagine the hours that the teacher has put in with them and the expertise that the teachers must have themselves,” he said.
“I commend them very much; they’ve created some amazing dancers.”
A world traveller and history buff, Mr. Irwin has lived in China and studied Chinese culture. He appreciated Shen Yun’s mission to preserve this precious culture, which was on the brink of being lost after decades of communist oppression.
“It’s really great that something like [Shen Yun] is able to come out. Not only to show new people what has been around for hundreds and thousands of years, but also [to] remind many Chinese people what was there.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Dongyu Teng, 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 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.