Haiti's honourary Consul General in Toronto said the Divine Performing Arts Chinese New Year Spectacular conveys a "powerful, spiritual message."
"This evening is both entertaining and thought provoking. It makes you think and it inspires you. At the same time it's entertaining you at a very high level so I certainly appreciate it," said Consul General Dr. Eric Pierre after attending the Toronto premiere of the Spectacular at the Sony Centre with his wife, Helen, on Friday.
"I really liked the show."
Pierre said the Spectacular gave the audience an appreciation of the diverse talents within traditional Chinese culture.
"After seeing the show, I have a strong desire to learn more of Chinese culture, history, dance [and] religion," he said, adding that he found the drumming act especially compelling.
"I enjoyed the singing and dancing, and I was so impressed by the drums and that taught me the universality of music. Music is a universal language. You find drums in African culture, in Chinese culture, Korean, Eastern European culture. It shows us that as human beings, we belong to one large family."
In the Spectacular, ancient Chinese stories unfold on stage through classical Chinese dance and music with an authenticity that is said to be completely unique in the world today.
This is spurring something of a renaissance of traditional culture in the Chinese art community and is drawing the attention and admiration of audiences around the world.
The Spectacular draws upon themes of courage, faith, and compassion from China's 5,000 years of culture and history. It includes stories from Chinese myths and legends as well as events relevant to modern-day China.
The show features a scene in which a Falun Gong practitioner is mistreated, but her faith and determination win out in the end. Falun Gong, a meditation practice and spiritual discipline, is repressed in China and a state-sanctioned persecution against its adherents has been in effect since 1999. "People have to resist oppression and eventually they will prevail, that is the message I am going away with. Oppression is not acceptable. Wherever oppression is, it is not acceptable; whoever is doing it, it is not acceptable," said Pierre.
Helen Pierre also had rave reviews for the Spectacular.
"The show is more than entertaining, it is very educational. I truly enjoyed the diversity," she said.
"The costumes are absolutely amazing. What impresses me most is the dances...not only the choreography, but also the complete symmetry with each other."
She described the drummers as "amazing" and encouraged people to see the show, especially those who haven't been to China.
"As a Canadian you tend to think China is just one piece, you don't think of it as different regions, or the different history of the regions. So I find [the Spectacular] very educational, and I truly enjoyed it."
After its run of five shows in Toronto from January 18 to 20, the Spectacular will continue its world tour in the U.S. and other countries before returning to Canada at the end of April. It will play in Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton from April 27 to May 7.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts shows that will perform in over 60 cities worldwide in 2008. To find a show near you, please visit www.bestchineseshows.com.