OTTAWA, Canada—Shen Yun Performing Arts returned to Ottawa for its eighth annual performance at the National Arts Centre on Thursday night.
“It was a very magical show,” said André Labelle, director of IT and Procurement at Ubisoft, the Montreal-based video game studio responsible for developing games in the “Prince of Persia” and “Assassin’s Creed series,” and the “Tom Clancy” franchise.
“It’s a great cultural experience,” he said.
Mr. Labelle, who brought his whole family to the show, was particularly impressed by the music.
Shen Yun features a unique orchestra that combines Eastern and Western instruments in a fusion that expresses the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.
The sound of the 4,000-year-old erhu stood out for him.
“It was absolutely beautiful,” Mr. Labelle said. The two-string instrument, known as the Chinese violin, is known for its ability to convey a wide range of emotions.
Husband and wife real estate brokers Zaineb Ridha and Wagih Succar were also thrilled to experience traditional Chinese culture on Thursday and said they couldn’t wait to recommend it to friends.
“Many people are waiting for me to [tell them about the show], and I’m going to tell them to just go ahead and see it,” said Ms. Ridha.
“It was amazing,” added Mr. Succar.
Ms. Ridha, originally from Iraq, was fascinated by the rich Chinese culture portrayed in Shen Yun, describing it as “completely different” from anything she had experienced before.
“Beautiful,” she said. “It’s really good.”
Ottawa surgeon Dr. Paul Beaule also appreciated that cultural component, he said, especially the dance Ne Zha Churns the Sea.
The mythical demi-god Ne Zha had an unusual birth as a meatball, but quickly grew into a boy that saved his village from the evil Dragon King.
“It’s been fantastic, I really enjoyed all the colours and the beautiful music. It’s been very educational in terms of the history,” Dr. Beaule said.
Information technology scientist Jan Mascini said he liked the way the show presented a series of performance pieces with distinct stories.
“I thought that was nice because each time the curtain went up, there was a sort of surprise: ‘what comes next, what story will be told?’ I thought the diversity was neat, very entertaining,” he said
Shen Yun is two and half hours of music and dance that takes audiences on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture. With 20 individual performances, it weaves a tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales.
Reporting by Donna He, NTD Television, and Rahul Vaidyanath
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company will present three more performances in Ottawa until Jan. 4 before moving on to Montreal on Jan. 6. 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.