OTTAWA, Canada—Former cabinet minister David Kilgour has seen Shen Yun Performing Arts seven times, and each time he said he was blown away by the beauty and synchronization of the dance and music in Shen Yun’s portrayal of the traditional Chinese culture.
“I think it’s one of the most uplifting shows that one can see anywhere in the world and I must admit I’ve been in many, many countries in the world,” Mr. Kilgour said after the Friday night show at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre.
“It is phenomenal. The dedication of the dancers, the singers, the choreography, the visuals, the costumes, the music—it’s all there.”
He said he thought last year’s show had reached the peak of excellence—that is, until he saw this year’s show. Shen Yun produces an all-new show each year.
“It’s a show that was better this year than it’s ever been. Last year I thought I wouldn’t be able to say that—how can it get better—but it did. This year’s show is better than last year’s show and I don’t know how it can get any better.”
With a name that roughly translates as “the beauty of divine beings dancing,” the New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company brings together dedicated artists from around the world in order to spur a renaissance of the Middle Kingdom’s 5,000-year-old traditional culture—a culture that was almost destroyed as a result of various destructive communist campaigns, most notably the Cultural Revolution.
As well as story-based dances that depict myths and legends from ancient China, Shen Yun presents a few pieces portraying the peaceful resistance of practitioners of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, in response to persecution by the communist regime.
Mr. Kilgour is a well-known human rights defender who has worked to end the abuse of Falun Gong practitioners in China. He noted the guiding principles of the spiritual discipline—truthfulness, compassion, forbearance—which are rooted in ancient Chinese culture.
“The values of Falun Dafa, truth, compassion, forbearance for example, are far more consistent with 5,000 years of Chinese history than the Marxism/Leninism of the government there now. The regime in Beijing has imported a terrible man—Karl Marx—and they’ve imposed his philosophy on the people of China and it doesn’t fit at all.”
Using the medium of classical Chinese dance and live orchestral music, Shen Yun captures the very spirit of traditional Chinese culture, bringing ancient stories and historic characters to life on stage.
“It shows the positive side of 5,000 years of Chinese culture, that’s the important thing,” Mr. Kilgour said.
“China’s culture is so rich and so deep, and it’s all in this show, so I hope men and women and young people and children of all ages and all cultures and all backgrounds can see it. I’m so happy that the National Arts Centre here in Ottawa was full tonight, and I gather it’s full for tomorrow and that Canadians are showing an interest.”
Mr. Kilgour held several senior roles while in government including Secretary of State for Asia Pacific. He currently takes up the causes of many disadvantaged groups and travels the world to advocate for human rights.
Reporting by NTD Television and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform two more shows in Ottawa before continuing on to Montreal. 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.