(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts‘ New York Company staged five spectacular, sold-out performances at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, Ontario from January 17-20, 2013. Toronto—the largest city in Canada and one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world—warmly received the New York-based dance company.
Shen Yun presented five sold-out performances at the Sony Center for the Performing Arts from January 17-20, 2013.
MP: Shen Yun “Best Performance I’ve Seen”
Costas Menegakis, MP for Richmond Hill, and his wife attend the opening performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Sony Centre on Thursday Jan. 17.
Seated in the audience was Conservative Member of Parliament Costas Menegakis, who thought Shen Yun was “absolutely the best performance” he has ever seen.
The MP for Richmond Hill described Shen Yun as “absolutely fabulous” and “very enchanting.”
“What a beautiful way to celebrate classical Chinese music and dance,” he said, adding that he felt very “fortunate” to be able to attend the show.
He said that he “was expecting to see beautiful dance,” but what he saw was “well beyond” his imagination.
“It is absolutely fantastic…just the way that it’s done, the quality of the performances, the athleticism of the performers, the strength of the performers, the smiles on their faces, the joy in their faces, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
Mr. Menegakis appreciated the “absolute precision” in the Shen Yun dances, adding that “Everything was done in total synchronization,” which included the dances, the music performed by the Shen Yun Orchestra, as well as the animated backdrops projected behind the dancers.
“Unbelievable how much it all comes together with absolute precision,” he said.
“I’m just totally blown away…with the beautiful colors, wonderful dancing, and the music and the orchestra.”
“The faces of the dancers, they’re really enjoying their performances, it’s absolutely enchanting, it is fabulous. I’ve never seen anything like it before!” he enthused.
Shen Yun “Spreading the Good Word”
While visiting China, as part of the delegation accompanying Prime Minister Stephen Harper, MP Menegakis said he had the opportunity to meet “the beautiful Chinese people.”
“But this show brings out the Chinese culture in a way that unless someone watches the show, you will never get … the true benefit of the beauty of the classical Chinese music and classical Chinese dance,” he explained.
Mr. Menegakis was able to more deeply appreciate the rich history of Chinese culture through the show.
“Governments change over time, and things happen, but you can’t ever take [culture] away from people, from the heart of the people,” he said.
“I think that these performers are spreading the good word, message, in a very powerful way, through the power of the arts, their performance and their talent.”
And that message, he said, “is resonating very loud and very clear to all of us.”
Mr. Menegakis described Shen Yun as an “absolutely fabulous performance,” one that should not be missed.
“Do not miss this show, it’s something that you’ve never seen before, but it gives you a beautiful understanding of the beautiful and warm Chinese culture and Chinese people.”
Member of Provincial Parliament: Shen Yun Is a “Tremendous Show”
MPP Michael Prue has attended Shen Yun at least five times
Also in the audience was Michael Prue, Member of Provincial Parliament for Beaches-East York, who said that he’s attended so many Shen Yun shows in Toronto that he’s lost count.
“I’ve been attending, I think, almost every year since they started coming to Toronto,” Mr. Prue said.
“It’s a tremendous show. Every year it changes,” he added. “And every year I learn more about Chinese culture.”
“The show is one of the best dance performances in the world,” Mr. Prue said.
“I get to see a lot of events in my job and I see many, many traditions, but this is a very unique one and a very disciplined one, and you never see a single person out of step. And so, wow! It’s something to see!”
Mr. Prue especially appreciated how the visual effects in the show seamlessly interacted with the animated backdrops and the dancers on stage, working together to extend the stage to times past and present and realms where heaven and earth are one.
“I’m constantly amazed how the gods are watching and how they come out of the sky and that is a really, truly amazing theatrical production,” he said.
“It’s like when I was a boy, when the cavalry comes to rescue. It’s like when the gods come down and right the wrongs, so it’s very moving,” he said, adding that the depiction of such scenes is part of China’s spiritual culture.
Shen Yun Represents “Faith and Hope” for Mankind
Mr. Prue thought that Shen Yun’s mission, to revive China’s 5,000-year-old divinely inspired culture, is a “tremendous, tremendous thing.”
“Chinese culture is one of the oldest cultures on Earth, and the language is old, but there are so many lessons, and so much wonderful history that everybody should know,” he said.
“For people to grab that and to show the world and keep it alive, is amazing to me.”
Mr. Prue said that one of the things that he gleamed from the show was that even when the situation looks bad there are higher beings looking on and guiding things, thus, Shen Yun provides “faith and hope” for people.
Shen Yun was founded in 2006 by a group of overseas Chinese artists who wished to restore and revive traditional Chinese culture, according to the Shen Yun website.
Mr. Prue said he wants to thank the Shen Yun performers for coming to Toronto each year and for bringing “some real, wonderful culture to the City of Toronto.”
“I hope that all Torontonians have an opportunity to come out and see this.”
Shen Yun Presents Chinese Culture “So Eloquently,” Says Former Senator
Former Canadian Senator Consiglio Di Nino hopes Shen Yun to perform in China soon
Another enthusiastic theatergoer, former Canadian Senator Consiglio Di Nino, said that he had seen Shen Yun three or four times already, while trying to recall the actual number.
“Mainly every year,” Mr. Di Nino said about his attendance.
Mr. Di Nino resigned from his post as a senator after serving over 22 years in the Senate; he said Shen Yun performances are beautiful.
“The costumes, the colors, the dancing, they’re all at a very high level and very beautiful, and I am pleased to come and be entertained and enjoy,” he said.
Mr. Di Nino said that one of the other reasons he attends Shen Yun is because he supports Falun Dafa, which is persecuted in China. Some of the dance scenes in Shen Yun portray the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice, in contemporary China.
“I have been a friend of the Falun Gong movement in Canada because I believe that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to live a life legally and honestly and respectfully as you will to do it,” the senator explained.
“Stunning…the Lighting, the Backdrops and the Costumes”
Shen Yun’s hundreds of colorful, hand-made costumes made a deep impression on the former senator.
“The whole scenery with the costumes is really a beautiful sight,” Mr. Di Nino said.
And they become even more beautiful as they’re incorporated in the performance by the superbly talented performers, he said.
“There’s a lot of talent that [Shen Yun] has employed.”
Shen Yun Shows a Part of China “That Isn’t Often Shown”
Mr. Di Nino said that one big reason why everyone should see Shen Yun is because it shows a part of China “that isn’t often shown.”
“There’s …a very, very important historical cultural value in China. It’s rich, it’s beautiful and it’s also one that, like the rest of the world, is based on great values of compassion, of honesty, of integrity, hard work,” Mr. Di Nino elaborated.
“I think all of those things are reflected in the show, so again I congratulate them.”
Mr. Di Nino said that if Shen Yun was able to perform in China in the future, it would serve to remind Chinese people of their rich culture “which is presented by Shen Yun so eloquently.”
Toronto Businessman Advises: Put Shen Yun On Your Bucket List
Toronto businessman Larry Wilson was captivated by the Shen Yun music, “I would pay twice the money just for the music,” he said.
Also seated in the audience was Larry Wilson, a member of the National Board of the American Chamber of Commerce and commercial realtor for CB Richard Ellis Ltd.
He said he was captivated by the music, having grown up in a musical family.
“I would pay twice the money just for the music,” Mr. Wilson said. Among his family members is an uncle who was a concert pianist for 38 years and a niece who runs the Brock University music program.
“I grew up with great music around me,” he volunteered.
Regarding Shen Yun’s live orchestra, he said, “I think the precision of the music and the emotion…not only did it vary but it was incredibly powerful.”
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique in its ability to seamlessly blend a philharmonic Western orchestra with Chinese instruments. The result is a fresh sound that brings out the best of both traditions.
Mr. Wilson especially liked the trumpet player, saying, “I think you better give the trumpet player a raise. I’ll say that right out of the gate.”
The music was only one aspect of the show for Mr. Wilson. More essential, to him, was the way the music was integrated into the whole performance.
He said he was struck by the way Shen Yun brings “the media [the animated backdrop], the precision and silence of the dance movements, and the power of the music together.”
“It’s just, it’s been a terrific evening,” he said.
Mr. Wilson said he was impressed by Shen Yun’s mission to revive the true, divinely-inspired cultural heritage of China, and its manifestation on stage.
“To bring 5,000 years of Chinese history to a larger audience, I think does wonders for this country and this continent,” he said.
Mr. Wilson wished Shen Yun “the very best success in the coming years,” and hoped that the company would continue to grow, year after year.
“I will be back,” he said.
When asked how he would convey his impression of the show to his friends, Mr. Wilson replied, “You better get a ticket.”
“Honestly, I would describe it as an experience that you will find nowhere else, and it’s something you better put on your bucket list very soon,” he concluded.
What Shen Yun Conveys Is the Wealth of Chinese Spirit, Says Beijing Entrepreneur
Mr. Li, from Beijing, was touring Canada with his daughter when a friend recommended that he see Shen Yun before he returns to China.
Not only was Mr. Li taken by the traditional Chinese culture and universal values conveyed in the Shen Yun performances, he also appreciated the artists’ hard work and dedication, and their contribution to Chinese art. He said that he sees Shen Yun as the future and hope of China.
Both Mr. Li and his daughter thought Shen Yun’s performance was very righteous, traditional, and stunning.
He said that it was rare to see such an enjoyable performance as Shen Yun, let alone a performance that was so culturally profound. He felt proud of his heritage and acknowledged how precious it is to see a group dedicated to promoting traditional Chinese culture in Western society.
Mr. Li said that the dances, costumes, and colors were brilliant and the aesthetic effect of the background projection was extremely unique.
“Shen Yun explains ancient Chinese history and civilization in a popular and simple way,” said Mr. Li.
“The artists’ performances were very natural, pure, passionate, and lively. The artists are able to easily connect with the audience.”
Mr. Li liked the fact that “Shen Yun is pure art without the slightest tinge of commercialism.”
Mr. Li hoped that the artists could persevere in their belief and continue on the path to revive Chinese traditional culture.
Shen Yun’s Culture Offers Hope for China
Mr. Li said that up until the Qing Dynasty, China had always played a leading role in technology, art, culture, and civilization. However, after the Chinese Communist Party took over the country in 1949, he explained, Chinese society began to deteriorate, especially on a moral level. Atheism robbed the Chinese people of their spiritual beliefs and led them down the road to ruin. However, Mr. Li believes that this is just a temporary state of affairs.
He said that it’s not an easy to road “to pursue the truth and to carry forward traditional Chinese culture.”
“The artists in Shen Yun shoulder an enormous responsibility, so I want to thank them. I see the light of hope for China in Shen Yun’s performance, Mr. Li added.
“I think Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the future trend and direction that mankind will embark on. People’s consciences and universal values can not be destroyed by suppression or an iron fist. I am confident about this, especially after seeing how Shen Yun artists devote themselves in preserving and promoting these values,” Mr. Li concluded.
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts