TORONTO–There are many elements that add to the aesthetic beauty of Shen Yun Performing Arts, not the least of which are classical Chinese dance, a live orchestra that combines Western and Eastern instruments, beautiful costumes, and colourful animated backdrops. Then there are the many tales and legends told through story-based dance performances and philosophical lyrics of solo vocal performances that speak to the soul.
All of these aspects combine to present to the viewer the essence of traditional Chinese culture, a culture rich with timeless values such as propriety and righteousness, respect for the divine, and benevolence and justice.
That is why many people come back to see Shen Yun again and again, not only because the performing arts company has a completely new line up of programs each year, but also because one viewing may not be enough to grasp all that is shown.
“Every time, the experience kind of grows because you already know the basic story, and then you just enjoy the different parts of it,” explained Dr. Henry Moller, a holistic physician and an assistant professor with the faculty of medicine at the University of Toronto. He came to see the performance with his family for the third time.
“I would pick one of my favourite stories–today we all lean toward the Monkey [King], and the [“Monks and the Red Guards”] is delightful. In the end with the shining Buddha [“Hope for the Future”] just makes my heart glow.”
Based in New York, Shen Yun has taken it as its mission to revive China’s divinely inspired culture. The company was formed by leading classical Chinese artists in 2006, and has since grown to include four touring companies that travel the world simultaneously with a full orchestra.
Dr. Moller praised Shen Yun’s presentation of Chinese history and culture, especially because Shen Yun shows the spiritual side of the Middle Kingdom.
“I would say I feel ascendant when I watch this. I feel like I’m floating in a cloud when I see the show. It makes me wonder about more than the here and now, that there’s more to life than what we can perceive at any given moment,” Dr. Moller said.
“I think that for anyone, this is an amazing introduction to the history and especially the spiritual history of China. I’m excited that it’s here in Toronto.”
Dr. Moller’s 13-year-old daughter, Tasha Fraser, said she also really enjoyed the performance: “It’s very bright and colourful, and I really liked the costumes….Kudos to the costume designer,” she said.
“The dancers were also very good actors; they showed very good emotion with their faces. I know my brother also enjoyed it. He enjoyed the Monkey King, he found it very funny,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Omid Ghoreishi
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.