Football Champ Turned Surgeon Gives Shen Yun a Top Score

January 9, 2015 Updated: May 19, 2015

MONTREAL—Football champ turned surgeon Dr. David Fleiszer gave Shen Yun Performing Arts a top score at Place des Arts on Jan. 8 and recommended that everyone experience the renowned classical Chinese dance and music production.

“My colleagues, my neighbours, my friends, everybody,” he said. “I love it.”

“Shen Yun is unique and in a class of its own”, said Dr. Fleiszer, an oncology surgeon and associate professor at McGill University and former director of the Cedars Breast Clinic of the McGill University Health Centre.

“The costumes, the ideas—it’s completely different from what we have here,” he noted, praising the show as “a true performance.”

In 2005, Dr. Fleiszer was the recipient of the John Reudy Award for Innovation in Teaching and named to the Faculty Honour List for Educational Excellence within McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine in recognition of his contribution in both teaching and educational leadership and innovation in the field of medical informatics.

But before his medical career he was a varsity football all-star. He was one of the best fullbacks to ever run with the McGill Redmen—named team MVP twice, McGill athlete of the year once, and was the first McGill player to win the Hec Crighton Trophy as the most outstanding football player in the nation in 1969. Some of his rushing records still stand today.

It is perhaps fitting then, that he enjoyed the Shen Yun dance “Capturing Arrows With Boats of Straw,” a story of clever strategy from the historic Chinese novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms.”

The story is set at the end of the Han Dynasty, on the brink of battle between Shu and Wu allied forces against the Wei army. To defeat the Wei forces, strategist Zhuge Liang crafts a brilliant plan to “borrow” arrows from them.

Under a blanket of fog and a moonless night, Liang sails his boats toward the other side, loudly beating his battle drums. The Wei troops fire away, and the arrows rain down on the boats. But instead of soldiers, the boats are loaded with straw men, which simply capture the arrows, and Liang sails home victorious.

“I love the story,” said Dr. Fleiszer, adding that the costumes were “magnificent.”

New York-based Shen Yun, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, is on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture. Also featuring story-based dance and folk dances from China’s many ethnic regions, Shen Yun “takes you on an extraordinary journey to the lost land of the ancient Middle Kingdom,” says its website.

Reporting by Nathalie Dieul and Justina Wheale

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.