HAMILTON, Canada—Friends of Professor Binoy Prasad and Mrs. Prasad saw Shen Yun Performing Arts last year and told them that it was an excellent production, so they bought tickets this year and they were delighted that they did.
“This year we didn’t want to miss it,” said Professor Prasad, who teaches political science at both McMaster University and Ryerson University.
“I like the show, the entire show,” he said after seeing the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music performance on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 11, at Hamilton Place Theatre, part of the New York-based company’s 2014 global tour.
“Very nice, everything was so well coordinated, and well organized. Choreography was good, music was good, and the artists’ expressions were very, very excellent.
“We are really satisfied,” he said. “We’ve got our money’s worth.”
Shen Yun was founded by a group of leading classical Chinese artists in 2006 with the mission of reviving the true, divinely inspired culture of China.
It is ancient heritage that has been all but lost following decades of communist rule, as noted on the Shen Yun website.
Principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom, respect for the heavens, and divine retribution—these are the essence of traditional Chinese culture, originating from the Middle Kingdom’s three religions of Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism
“Particularly the Buddhist message was very, very nice. It’s for peace, for internationalism, and it’s against violence, it was full of good messages,” Professor Prasad noted.
He and his wife are both from India, and the professor is a two-term president of the Hamilton-Area India-Canada Society, which co-sponsors the annual Gandhi Peace Festival with McMaster University in Hamilton.
His areas of specialization include international relations, globalization, American and South Asian studies, race, ethnicity, political violence, and political culture and behaviour.
With this background and expertise, Professor Prasad said he believed that everyone should come to see Shen Yun.
“This is something really, really nice, which everyone should see and enjoy, and spread the message of peace,” he noted.
Along with ancient myths and legends of China, Shen Yun also performs story-based dances that tell heroic tales unfolding in modern-day China.
Two of the dances paid tribute to the practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual practice and their peaceful resistance in the face of brutal persecution by the Chinese regime. Their non-violence and perseverance resonated with the professor.
“Anywhere, any part of the world, there is oppression, or suppression, authoritarianism, that should not be allowed. And there should be a voice against that, but that voice should also be the voice of peace, not of counter-violence, and terrorism,” Professor Prasad said.
He also had warm praise for many other aspects of the production. He was particularly impressed by the choreography and the different costumes, along with the selection of backdrop sceneries created by state-of-the-art graphics technology.
Shen Yun’s digital backdrop team creates vividly animated settings that extend the stage, transporting viewers to spectacular landscapes reflecting the Middle Kingdom’s many dynasties and regions, as well as mystical heavenly realms.
The sceneries complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance, including the characters, colours, costumes, dance movements, props, storyline, even particular notes played by the orchestra, as explained on the Shen Yun website.
“The coordination with the backdrops … fascinating,” said Mrs. Prasad, who said she enjoyed “all together everything, the whole performance.”
“Wonderful,” she said.
Reporting by Allen Zhou and Cindy Chan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform in Hamilton for one more show Sunday before going on to Kitchener-Waterloo. 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.