OTTAWA, Canada—Raymond Pitre retired from a job rich in history, and the rich history he saw on stage at the National Arts Centre Friday night was just what he had hoped to see, he said.
“It was just what I expected,” he said.
“The history was what really got to me.”
That history is the 5,000 years of China’s divinely inspired civilization, a cultural heritage that has been largely destroyed under 60 years of communist rule and forced atheism in that country.
Mr. Pitre said that history has always fascinated him.
“We have such a short history here in Canada, and [in China] we’re now talking about thousands of years. We’ve always been mystified by the country, the beauty of the country, so it’s really special to see this.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts staged the second of four shows at the NAC with some 20 pieces featuring dance and musical soloists. The company mainly performs classical Chinese dance, an art form thousands of years old, passed down dynasty after dynasty in royal courts, opera houses, and theatres.
Many of the dances are story-based, enacting myths, legends, and folk tales from Chinese history. Mr. Pitre said the presentation that night gave him a deeper understanding of the China of yesteryear.
“It gives us a little bit of an insight on how special the culture is. That in itself was pretty awesome,” he said.
The presentation of this history was enhanced through exceptional artistry. Mr. Pitre described his reaction to the show.
“Beautiful. The colours, the music, the movements, everything is very nice. I loved it,” he said.
He noted that the music, the dance, and the digitally projected background all impressed him. That background provides vividly animated settings for each piece that complement and sometimes interact and synchronize with the action on the stage.
“Very, very special with all the interaction with the background and the people,” Mr. Pitre said.
“I was not expecting that. It was really well done.”
When asked what he would say to his friends about the show, he said, “They have to come here and watch it. They have to come here. It’s very nice.”
He said it was his first time to see Shen Yun, but he would certainly be back.
When Mr. Pitre retired from his position as Director of the Senate Protective Service in 2010, he left one of Canada’s oldest institutions. His retirement was noted by Senator David Tkachuk, then Chair of the Senate’s powerful Standing Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets and Administration.
In a speech in the Senate on Oct. 21, 2010, Mr. Tkachuk thanked Mr. Pitre for his “30 years of outstanding service.”
“The Senate wishes to thank this valued member of the Senate’s administration senior management team, a man of abiding loyalty, compassion, and good humour,” said Mr. Tkachuk, also noting that Mr. Pitre is known for his humility and approachable manner.
Reporting by Fu Ming and Matthew Little
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s World Company will perform two more shows in Ottawa before continuing on to Montreal. 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.