TORONTO—Saquib Khan enjoyed a “very colourful, very nice” journey through history and traditional Chinese culture on Friday evening when he attended Shen Yun Performing Arts’ acclaimed presentation of classical Chinese dance and music at the Sony Centre.
“I think it’s a good revisit to the history. You can see how the cultures have developed and evolved to where we are now,” said Mr. Khan, president and owner of Nutem Custom Manufacturing in Burlington, a company that develops a wide range of household products to suit manufacturing and co-packing needs.
“It’s an excellent way to take you back into the time and then bring you back into the future from that. It’s great,” added Mr. Khan, who attended the show with his wife.
The performance by the New York-based company is based on classical Chinese dance, which in itself has a long history of thousands of years, while the mission of Shen Yun is to revive the Middle Kingdom’s 5,000-year divinely inspired culture.
The program features 20 pieces ranging from large-scale dances to re-enactments of classic stories to soloists singing Chinese lyrics using the bel canto operatic technique.
Two masters of ceremonies give a short introduction to each piece, providing the audience with a flavour of what is about to take place.
And accompanying the performance is a live orchestra featuring traditional orchestral instruments led by Chinese instruments such as the suona and pipa.
Mr. Saquib particularly enjoyed the journey through time, the music, and the format of the presentations.
“I think the brief summary at the beginning of every act was a very helpful thing to follow and understand what era this skit has been from,” he said.
He singled out the piece Mongolian Chopsticks as an example of taking one back in time.
“It was very nicely choreographed and nicely done,” Mr. Khan said, complimenting the group dance performed by male dancers across a backdrop of a clear blue sky.
“Dancers use chopsticks to create a crisp, staccato beat that quickens the blood and stirs the heart,” reads the program guide.
Mr. Khan also thought the portrayal of the divine Chinese culture and the connection between human beings and heaven was well done.
“I think [Shen Yun] was trying to tell you that there’s a life after death,” Mr. Khan said. “And if you do good deeds, that’s how you’ll get rewarded.”
“It was beautiful, beautiful,” he added, noting that every society has similar values in this regard.
Reporting by Lisa Ou and Rahul Vaidyanath
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in Toronto until Jan. 26. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.