NEW ORLEANS—Larry Canada, a distinguished lawyer, said at Saenger Theatre, on Feb. 18, that he respected Shen Yun Performing Arts for its mission to revive authentic Chinese culture. “I think it’s honorable and admirable to bring back the culture; otherwise it would be lost.”
Mr. Canada is a director with a New Orleans law firm, an assistant bar examiner for the Louisiana Supreme Court, and was named “Top Lawyer” by New Orleans Magazine, November 2009 and 2011, “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers publication, 2011, and Louisiana “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2012.
He said his sense of Chinese culture and of Chinese people is that they are “a calm people, and seeking after knowledge, and actually developing a lot of knowledge for everyone. So it’s been a very beneficial society for thousands of years.”
Mr. Canada practiced martial arts beginning as a young boy, and has also done Tai Chi. “When I was in college, I especially liked Eastern folklore and dance. I have been in martial arts since I have been about four years old, so it kind of fits in together with me.”
Speaking of the spiritual themes in Shen Yun, Mr. Canada found them universal. “Everyone has their story of creation.” The opening dance of the 2014 Shen Yun is Grand Descent of the Deities, in which “a distant voice summons them as the Creator states his grand wish to rescue all sentient beings,” according to the program.
Mr. Canada brought his wife, Mrs. Cynthia Canada, to the performance. Speaking at intermission, she said the dance The Steadfast Lotus “was probably the most touching part to me so far.” This piece is set in modern day China and depicts the persecution of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong by the hand of the Chinese communist regime.
According to the program, in this piece, “in a plot that mirrors countless present-day stories of Chinese families torn apart, the daughter endures tribulations searching for her mother, until her steadfast faith gives her newfound hope.”
To her husband, most moving part of the story is the steadfast quality of the title. “I think that the touching part is that it perpetuated and it keeps going. It’s that in spite of the oppression, that continued faith, the continued practice, and the perseverance … that’s the whole point.”
Mr. Canada was struck by their tenacity. “It goes on in spite of the oppression and the potential for jail and death, like they said.”
At the same time that each of them was touched by the deeper themes, they also found Shen Yun simply entertaining. “Oh, I love it,” said Mr. Canada. “I enjoy all of them.”
The miraculous meatball, the dragon, “the students, and they are studying and then one of them gets into a little mayhem,” all of the tales from Chinese history and folklore were enjoyable. Mrs. Canada said, “I pretty much have the same reaction, enjoyed it all so far.”
Mr. Canada said, “If you like culture, folklore, and excellent dancing, and music, then this is the place to come.”
Reporting by Sarah Guo and Mary Silver
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.
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.