OTTAWA, Canada—Former Canadian cabinet minister David Kilgour has seen Shen Yun Performing Arts many times, and at this season’s opening night at the National Arts Centre he said he was struck by the outstanding accomplishment of the renowned classical Chinese dance company.
He listed all the aspects that he enjoyed, such as the colours, the dancers, the singing, and the stories, and so on, while noting that the dance that made an especially deep impression was one that told of the power of traditional values in strengthening good in people and in society.
“I believe that the values of good—versus the values of evil—will prevail,” Mr. Kilgour said after seeing The Power of Compassion, a dance story depicting the adherents of the spiritual practice of Falun Gong holding true to their principles amid adversity.
Practitioners of Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, are targets of a campaign of violent persecution and hate propaganda by the current Chinese communist regime.
In the dance story, a police officer comes to regret his actions after personally experiencing the kindness of several Falun Gong practitioners whom he had initially been tasked to attack.
“That piece was my favourite one, where it converted the policeman from the government to the values of Falun Gong,” Mr. Kilgour said.
He added that he believes the values of Falun Gong—truth, compassion, forbearance—which are universal values, “are the values of China” and will again become the values of China in the future.
“So I am enormously encouraged by this [performance]. It’s an artistic achievement, unparalleled achievement,” said Mr. Kilgour.
He also applauded the two masters of ceremonies, Catherine Fang and Ben Freed, who introduced the audience to classical Chinese dance and to the story of each performance piece in a total of three languages, reflecting the French-English bilingual character of the National Capital Area as well as the production’s showcase of classical Chinese culture.
“I was sitting beside somebody whose first language was French, and she was delighted that French was as prominent as English and as Chinese,” Mr. Kilgour said.
“That’s absolute genius, having the three languages. That’s when anybody can feel at home in the show. It’s terrific. The host and hostess were terrific.”
Classical Chinese dance is at the heart of every Shen Yun performance, along with traditional Chinese folk dance and ethnic dance.
Another unique feature of the New York-based company, whose mission is to revive the authentic, divinely inspired culture of China, is the virtuoso vocalists’ use of bel canto operatic technique to sing Chinese lyrics.
The songs are original works rich with philosophical reflection about the meaning of life, and some audience members have even expressed that they are reminiscent of sacred music, states the Shen Yun website.
Commenting on the lyrics, Mr. Kilgour came back to the power of goodness in the values that were expressed.
“The values are absolutely pivotal, when somebody wants to do good to their people and wants to help their people, which in a democracy we try to do. We make all kinds of mistakes but at least the people in a democracy are trying to serve the people,” Mr. Kilgour said, adding that “that’s what I believe is coming to China.”
“I am proud to recommend that anybody go see this year’s performance,” Mr. Kilgour said. “I think it was just excellent.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Cindy Chan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.