VANCOUVER, Canada— For most of China’s 5,000-year history, Chinese people had a common understanding: that they were to strive to live in harmony with heaven and the natural world by following the Dao, or cosmic law.
This culture, which revolved around the teachings of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, was thought to be bestowed on China by the divine. Thus, it was the people’s duty to uphold it by adhering to cherished virtues and ideals: loyalty, filial piety, righteousness, divine reverence. This is what kept society harmonious and dynasties flourishing.
It was this expression of moral character and profound dignity that touched Darryl and Brenda D’Souza as they took in Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 22 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. As Ms. D’Souza describes it, Shen Yun’s presentation of traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance showed “serenity, in the core of people.”
“It just emphasizes that [it’s] a really respectful, calm culture,” she said. “You can see that portrayal of reverence.”
“I respect their respectfulness for others–you can see it in all the scenes that are put out there,” added Mr. D’Souza.
“I just liked the overall peaceful nature of everything. I mean, they brought nature out to a great extent as to how life can be simple.”
This nature was evident throughout the stage elements–from the colours of the costumes to the smallest gesture from the dancers, said Mrs. D’Souza.
“There is a simplicity to it, and yet there’s so much detail,” she said.
Mr. D’Souza, who works in the banking sector, said that the expression of traditional culture was an “awakening” for him, that showed ancient virtues are always relevant.
“I just liked the overall peaceful nature of everything,” he said.
It showed that life can be natural and simple, he added, explaining that it is so common to get engrossed with what’s going on in life.
“This is a nice awakening, and a reminder to all of us that this is existing still now and we should embrace it.”
Gérard LaPlante, Bishop of the Old Catholic Church of B.C., also attended performance. He said Shen Yun is an example for humanity of higher realms that transcend the material world.
“Right now with this world there’s so much materialism–Shen Yun’s message is one that people need spirituality,” he said, adding the performance spread joy and happiness.
“I was very impressed.”
With reporting by Ryan Moffatt and Justina Wheale
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. The company that performed in Vancouver was World Company. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.