CALGARY—"I never actually realized… I bet western ballet must take a lot from Chinese dance, because it felt like a ballet to me," said Warren Wenham after seeing Thursday evening's performance of the Chinese Spectacular at Calgary's Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
"They throw in the elements of history — China's 5,000 years of history. To add that in, it makes for a different interesting twist."
Field supervisor for Metro newspaper, Wenham took his six-year-old son to the show with him and felt the stories and principles depicted in Spectacular gave him a lot of wisdom to impart to his son.
"The truth and the compassion and the forbearance were a really prominent theme throughout the whole thing. I was able to start using those themes and [began] to teach him what those themes are."
Wenham said his son was "really curious as to what was going on when the opera singers were singing – I was reading the words to him."
"They are not necessarily the most PG stories; they have a little more pain. But at the end they show that [the pain] can turn around into something good or something positive and that's the kind of thing I can take from this and give to him," he said.
He also commented on the show's spirituality. "I think there was a huge spiritual element to this. I think that any group of people that come together to celebrate their spirituality in a positive way, they can do no wrong, no matter what faith."
Wenham felt he gained insight into both western culture and other cultures through the show.
"Being western, I can't believe how pessimistic we are and how positive other cultures are. It's kind of enlightening. It's a real eye opener to see that all these cultures that we think we know something about, we really don't know anything about."
The Spectacular is hosted by western and Chinese hosts, both of whom speak Chinese and English fluently. Speaking of the western host, Wenham said, "Our host, Jared, he seemed like he had such exuberance, I don't see that a lot in our society here."
"I work with a lot of Chinese people. I find that their lust for life and their ability to do what's necessary [while being able to] be happy to be able to leave headier things behind and just focus on what's happening at the moment — that's a beautiful thing."
Wenham added that he had heard about Calgary's Chinese consulate interfering with some of the show's sponsors, causing them to withdraw their sponsorship.
"I heard that there was controversy with the Consulate surrounding the show. Communist China always seems to want to control what's happening. [They want to] control the markets and the media at the same time."
For information about upcoming Divine Performing Arts shows, please visit: www.DivinePerformingArts.org.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Divine Performing Arts company. For our complete coverage please visit: http://en.epochtimes.com/features/dpa2008/