“They must work like crazy,” Says Soloist Ballerina

By Olivier Chartrand
MONTREAL—The projectors cast their lights on the 400 fabulously bright-colored gilded costumes, illuminating the whole stage at Wilfrid-Pelletier Hall last Friday, as Shen Yun Performing Arts held the first of four performances in Montreal.

White translucent sails twirled to accentuate the grace and the impressive agility of the young celestial fairies; skillful soldiers of the Middle Empire competed with each other in the midst of the full swing of a combat in dance.

Isabelle Paquette, a soloist dancer for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, was in the audience and watched the performance with the eye of a connoisseur. She also watched with the bright eyes of a child who is discovering something fascinating for the first time.

“This is a show of very, very high quality! I guess they [the dancers] must work like crazy! For sure! I can just imagine what they must go through to be ready. I know it takes hours and hours of work. That’s obvious and it shows on stage, ” she said, sharing her thoughts about the dancers’ preparation.

This contact with the Eastern culture was very rewarding for her for it was the first time she has seen classical Chinese dance performed by the New York-based company.

She added that an exchange between her and the Shen Yun artists to compare their respective disciplines could possibly be very constructive.

Mrs. Paquette says that she has already worked with some Chinese choreographers who had left her with a vivid impression of generosity, which she also noticed in the show. “The Chinese are also quite extraordinary as human beings. They give much of themselves, so we want to give them as much also, and that’s what we saw tonight.”

Shen Yun intersperses a great majority of the dance numbers with songs performed in a classical bel canto technique.

“It was extraordinary to hear voices like that in Chinese, even if we do not necessarily understand [the language], but I let myself be carried away by these voices. It added much, much to the show to have great singers like that on stage. It was beautiful! ”

Intriguing to spectators, the Shen Yun Orchestra, that accompanies each dance, has both Chinese and Western instruments, which gives it a unique sound while still preserving the flavor of dynastic China.

“The music is very, very important to the dance and vice versa. As dancers, the music is always there to support what we do. It helps us enormously. They [the dancers] need a rhythm or something in order to express what needs to be expressed. The Shen Yun musicians with their typically Chinese instruments do serve the dances well,” said Mrs. Paquette.
http://www.shenzhoufilm.com/sz/en/2010/01/17/a10117.html 2010-1-17 12:12