TORONTO—Glynn Perkins, associate assignment editor for CTV News Toronto, enjoyed Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Sony Centre on Sunday afternoon and said that the classical Chinese dance and music production was a new experience for him.
“It’s certainly opening us up to the Chinese culture and the history of China,” Mr. Perkins said.
The digital projection used to create vividly animated backdrops throughout the show extends the stage and takes the audience back through the history of China, interacting with the performers on stage and bringing to life spectacular landscapes and architecture.
This was something that Mr. Perkins said was very well done.
“I like the effects that are being used with the characters when they are on and off the stage, and that’s kind of neat the way that’s been put together,” he said.
The Shen Yun website states that the stories and legends are drawn from the vast resource of 5,000 years of Chinese civilization, rich with themes such as the benevolence of gods, the triumph of good over evil, and the quest for the meaning of life.
Among them, Mr. Perkins made particular note of a story-based dance titled Ne Zha Churns the Sea, about a boy born from a giant meatball who battles a dragon and saves his village.
“I noticed with one of the performances, one of the dances—how quiet they were when they were moving about the stage. I noticed along with their movements how graceful and peaceful the storytelling was,” he said.
He also delighted in the music performed by the Shen Yun Orchestra, which blends instruments from the East and the West to create a fresh, harmonious sound.
“I think the music is great. I love music. Listening to the music here is wonderful. I like it a lot,” said Mr. Perkins.
Along with the dancers, music, and storytelling, Mr. Perkins was also very impressed by the costumes. “Being a Westerner and not seeing this style every day, that would be new to me for sure,” he noted.
New York-based Shen Yun was founded upon the mission of reviving the true traditional culture of China, which is believed to be divinely inspired, as explained on the company’s website.
The production uses the performing arts to depict the essence of the ancient culture, imbued with virtues and principles such as compassion, justice, propriety, wisdom, filial piety, and reverence for the divine.
Reflecting on the overall impact of the stories in the show, Mr. Perkins said that teaching a moral is always beneficial to people.
“As a Western society, we may be losing our morals for such things as family and respect for our elders. That’s something that Chinese culture has, respect for parents and grandparents. … So I think the issues of projecting morals and right and wrong is definitely a good thing to have.”
With reporting by Lisa Ou and Orysia McCabe
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.