TORONTO—Former Senator Consiglio Di Nino was very impressed with the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance that he saw at the Sony Centre on Sunday afternoon.
This was the fourth or fifth time he was attending a performance by New York-based Shen Yun, he said while trying to recall the actual number.
“Mainly every year,” Mr. Di Nino said about his attendance.
Mr. Di Nino, who resigned from his post as a senator after serving over 22 years in the Senate, said Shen Yun performances are beautiful.
“The costumes, the colours, 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 he also attends because he supports Falun Dafa, which is persecuted in China. Some of the dance scenes in Shen Yun show the persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation practice, in modern day 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 said.
The costumes, the colours, the dancing, they’re all at a very high level and very beautiful.
— Former Senator Consiglio Di Nino
Shen Yun, which presents classical Chinese dance and music, incorporates stunning animated backdrops and hundreds of colourful hand-made costumes that create a feast for the eyes on the stage.
“The whole scenery with the costumes is really a beautiful sight,” Mr. Di Nino said.
“Stunning….the lighting, the backdrops and the costumes.”
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”
According to its website, Shen Yun has a mission to revise 5,000 years of the divinely inspired culture of China.
“Unfortunately, over the past 60 years, this cultural treasure has been persecuted and co-opted by the Chinese Communist Party. It is outside of China that Shen Yun’s artistic creators have the ability to freely express themselves and their ancient culture,” according to the Shen Yun website.
Mr. Di Nino said everyone should see Shen Yun’s performance as 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 has, like the rest of the world, based on great values of compassion, of honesty, of integrity, hard work,” Mr. Di Nino explained.
“I think all of those things are reflected in the show, so again I congratulate them and continue to do it.”
If Shen Yun is allowed to present its performance in China one day, said Mr. Di Nino, it would be able to remind Chinese people of their rich culture “that exists in China which is presented by Shen Yun so eloquently.”
Reporting by NTD Television
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Following 21 successful shows Dec. 20-Jan. 13 in Mississauga, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Hamilton, Shen Yun’s New York Company finished its run of five shows in Toronto with sold-out shows Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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