OTTAWA, Canada—Canadian Member of Parliament Mathieu Ravignat has been paying attention to Shen Yun Performing Arts for several years, and when he finally had a chance to see the show this year, he greatly enjoyed the renowned classical Chinese dance and music production.
“Happy to be here,” said Mr. Ravignat, MP for the riding of Pontiac in the province of Quebec, on the night of Saturday, Jan. 4 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. Mr. Ravignat is the NDP’s official critic for the Treasury Board.
“I think it was wonderful,” he said. “The artistry is gorgeous and obviously the athleticism and artistic ability of the performers is top-notch.”
New York-based Shen Yun was founded upon the mission of bringing back the 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture that flourished in China, but was nearly lost under decades of communist rule.
At the heart of what the company presents is Chinese dance, encompassing classical Chinese dance, which contains the deep cultural traditions of China, as well as folk and ethnic dance, paying tribute to the many distinctive ethnic groups within the Middle Kingdom and around her borders.
Mr. Ravignat particularly liked the aspects of variety and diversity in the show.
“That’s what’s good, there’s a good variety of artistic talent and artistic mediums that are presented during the show,” he said.
“It’s nice to see the different cultures, or different subgroups, that make up Chinese art. So there was a little bit about the Han, a little bit about the Yao, it’s good to present the whole variety of Chinese culture.”
He noted that the techniques and movements used in classical Chinese dance looked very challenging, such as leaps and jumps, spins, flips, and tumbles.
“It seems to be very difficult, but it’s very beautiful,” he said, praising the dancers as being “really great.”
“I can imagine what kind of training they must have gone through in order to perform at that high level,” Mr. Ravignat added.
Talking about Shen Yun’s mission to revive the authentic traditional Chinese culture, Mr. Ravignat expressed his wholehearted support, calling it a very important mandate to protect culture.
“It’s certainly important to preserve culture, ancient cultures in particular,” he said. “The world would lose a tremendous amount of knowledge if we allowed ancient culture to disappear.”
In particular, he noted the contribution of Chinese-Canadians to Canadian society including the richness of the Chinese culture.
“The Chinese diaspora or the migration of Chinese in this country is extremely important. They brought a tremendous amount to our country and the presence of a good culture like that is obviously helps us all,” he said.
Through breathtaking music and dance, telling stories from ancient myths and legends to modern heroic tales, Shen Yun takes audiences on a journey through China’s 5,000 years of culture.
Mr. Ravignat gave recognition to two of the modern heroic tales—the story of Falun Dafa practitioners’ peaceful resistance against brutal persecution in Mainland China.
Practitioners of the peaceful spiritual practice, also called Falun Gong, have been the target of an extensive and systematic campaign of oppression for more than a decade under the totalitarian regime in China.
“To bring a message of the rights of the people to practice what they believe in, that’s good to hear in a show and we need to keep human rights forward and at the front of our considerations in an international context,” Mr. Ravignat said.
“It’s good to make sure that people understand that’s going on in the world today and we need to do something about it.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Cindy Chan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts. Shen Yun’s World Company finished in Ottawa on Saturday and will now go on to perform in Montreal.
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.