OTTAWA, Canada—Former United Nations officer Bob Simmonds attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the National Arts Centre on Saturday afternoon and was impressed by the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music production.
“It’s a tremendous show,” he said. “The show is really amazing.”
His wife Susanne Sarault, a singer and jazz/ballet dancer, said it’s a performance that everyone should see.
“[Shen Yun] is absolutely fabulous. If anybody hasn’t seen this before, they have to come see it,” she said.
Mr. Simmonds travelled to China on a mission when with the UN, and said Shen Yun offers a glimpse into the country’s 5,000-year history.
According to its website, Shen Yun aims to revive five millennia of divinely inspired Chinese traditional culture—a culture that has been largely destroyed under decades of communist rule.
The New York-based group seeks to renew the ancient heritage through dance and music that is true to the culture’s deep spiritual essence with its values of compassion, propriety, wisdom, honour, sincerity, and reverence for the divine.
“It’s such an ancient society and there is a lot we don’t know because it goes back so many years. And it’s nice to know as well that there are a lot of values and a lot of principles of life that is part of [traditional Chinese] society,” said Ms. Sarault.
“It is very profound, very philosophical; a very different way of looking at life.”
Mr. Simmonds enjoyed Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops, which act as moving landscapes to provide vivid context for the story-based dances.
“I thought it was tremendously well done,” he said.
“The colours and the technical aspect of the dancing and the special effects with the screen—I’ve never seen that before,” said his wife.
Reporting by Pam McLennan and Justina Wheale.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Ottawa until Dec. 30 before going on to Montreal, Toronto, and other cities in eastern Canada.
For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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