Uplifted and Enriched: Audiences Point to Depth of Culture in Shen Yun

April 23, 2016 3:47 am Last Updated: April 23, 2016 10:51 am

TORONTO—Shen Yun Performing Arts delivered a powerful presentation of hope and spirituality at the Sony Centre on its opening night, said audience members.

“Loved the show. The performances were amazing, the costumes were spectacular, the colours were breathtaking, and I would totally recommend it and can’t wait to see it again,” said Lori Applebaum, an account executive at Jewel 88.5.

“I feel refreshed, really feeling happy, and just better about life,” she said.

“It just opens your mind to another way of thinking or being hopeful or thinking there’s more than just yourself and what’s on earth today.”

Shen Yun was founded on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture, the traditional culture of China that thrived for thousands of years. Shen Yun presents mainly classical Chinese dance, an art form enriched in China dynasty after dynasty, giving it the expressive power to capture diverse tales and emotions.

With Ms. Applebaum was her boyfriend Michael Attanasio. He said that the show left him feeling “very warm, my mind is very open.”

“Very positive and spiritual,” he said.

“It opens my mind and heart to other avenues other than the black and white that we see every day. It was so very breathtaking, eye opening,” he said.

“I found it fantastic. The colours were vibrant, the orchestration was breathtaking, the vocals were stunning, the light effects, the backdrop, were all incredible,” added Ms. Applebaum.

“It opens your soul, opens your heart, opens your mind.”

David Gillan, vice president at T.E. Wealth in Toronto, during the intermission at Shen Yun's performance at the Sony Centre in Toronto on April 21, 2016. (Becky Zhou/Epoch Times)
David Gillan, vice president at T.E. Wealth in Toronto, during the intermission at Shen Yun’s performance at the Sony Centre in Toronto on April 21, 2016. (Becky Zhou/Epoch Times)

Others agreed.

“This is very beautiful,” said David Gillan, vice president at T.E. Wealth in Toronto.

“I love the show. It’s amazing, even better than I thought,” he continued.

“I am learning a lot about the culture. Some of it I know and some is very new to me so I am finding it very, very interesting. And the dancing is amazing, it’s just amazing. I really love it.”

Harlod Grey and Josie Lafontaine took in Shen Yun at the Sony Centre in Toronto on April 21, 2016. (Dongyu Teng/Epoch Times)
Harold Grey and Josie Lafontaine took in Shen Yun at the Sony Centre in Toronto on April 21, 2016. (Dongyu Teng/Epoch Times)

Retired real estate developer Harold Grey also described being stunned by Shen Yun.

“I think the show was amazing. What I loved about it was that everyone looked like they were having such an amazing time onstage that it was addictive and it made you have a good time just watching them,” said Mr. Grey.

With Mr. Grey was Josie Lafontaine, who was equally enthusiastic.

“For me, I wanted to go to this concert for a while and I actually got an education and I guess that was the purpose. … I did get an education and I am grateful for that,” said Ms. Lafontaine.

“It’s very colourful, it’s very storytelling, and it’s very passionate,” she said.

They also both loved the digitally animated backdrop.

“I think it was very magical and it was very well done, good special effects,” said Ms. Lafontaine.

“I thought it was really well done, and I liked the fact that they had the timing down perfect,” said Mr. Grey.

“I think everything about the show was just great but I think that that was something very exciting because it basically brought you into different places,” he said.

“Actually the thing I enjoyed the most was watching those young dancers dance and smile and have a great time and I think that they really enjoyed putting on a show and telling people exactly what that was all about and so it was addictive watching them.”

Dave and Patsy Lavaliere drove 150 kilometres from Peterborough to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Sony Centre on April 21, 2016. (Becky Zhou/Epoch Times)
Dave and Patsy Lavaliere drove 150 kilometres from Peterborough to see Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Sony Centre on April 21, 2016. (Becky Zhou/Epoch Times)

 

Dave Lavaliere and his wife Patsy drove 150 kilometers from Peterborough to see the show. It was a surprise birthday gift for Mrs. Lavaliere.

“It’s very colourful, very imaginative, and a history lesson on China,” said Mr. Lavaliere.

“I appreciate all the artwork and the dancing because I used to dance, and I know how hard it is out there to dance and show their culture, and we appreciate that very, very much. It’s very beautiful,” said Mrs. Lavaliere. “Very talented people.”

Reporting by Dongyu Teng and Becky Zhou

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.