OTTAWA, Canada—David Kilgour has seen Shen Yun Performing Arts six times over the past seven years and says that he receives new inspiration each time he sees the acclaimed classical Chinese dance and music production.
“I’m inspired differently and more every time I see it,” said Mr. Kilgour, a former Canadian cabinet minister and Crown prosecutor, who has also served as Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific and Secretary of State for Latin America and Africa.
“The music was always marvellous, but the singing was superb, the narrating was excellent,” said Mr. Kilgour.
“It’s uplifting. It’s fabulous for the senses—the ears, the eyes, the costumes, the settings, the solo singers,” he added.
New York-based Shen Yun, founded in 2006, takes as its mission the revival of 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
The company has three performing arts groups, each with an accompanying full-size orchestra, that travel the world each year with an all-new production of classical Chinese dance and music and including ethnic and folk dances from China’s diverse regions and ethnicities.
“A performance by Shen Yun is a presentation of traditional Chinese culture as it once was: a study in grace, wisdom, and the virtues distilled from the five millennia of Chinese civilization,” the company’s website states.
This year Mr. Kilgour particularly praised a traditional Tibetan dance that features the white Khata sleeve of Tibetan attire. The dancers with their crisp footwork and waving sleeves perform an energetic dance that expresses a spirited beauty in the harsh environment of the Himalayas.
“The scarf dance—I’ve never seen anything like it before. I thought it was fabulous,” Mr. Kilgour said.
“And the music, with all those instruments from China, the 5,000 years of culture that came through so well in the show, I think it was phenomenal.”
Shen Yun showcases story-based dances that depict myths and legends from ancient China as well as topical issues affecting people in the contemporary China of today, including the peaceful resistance of practitioners of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, in response to persecution by the communist regime.
A human rights crusader, Mr. Kilgour was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work related to the investigation of organ harvesting crimes against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Mr. Kilgour expressed his appreciation for Shen Yun’s treatment of the persecution in the context of an entertaining and uplifting performance.
“I think it was handled very well,” he said.
“I think tonight it was particularly clear that against the violence and the stupidity and the dogma of totalitarianism in China, the Shen Yun show is using music and dancing and art and culture, 5,000 years of culture, and kindness and love and compassion and truth,” he added.
“What Shen Yun is trying to prove very successfully is that culture and art and song and dance and music is the best way to overcome stupidity and violence.”
Reporting by Sound of Hope Radio Network, NTD Television, Ryan Moffat, and Cindy Chan.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s New York Company will be in Ottawa until Dec. 30 before going on to Montreal, Toronto, and other cities in eastern Canada. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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