MONTREAL, Canada—Publisher Henri Pavot and his wife Lucie Bouchard were at a mall in Florida three years ago when a chance encounter introduced them to Shen Yun Performing Arts. The performance was taking place the next day, and the couple was planning to leave for Montreal that night, but Mr. Pavot decided he couldn’t miss it.
“I felt like I had to go right away. We bought the tickets online that same day and we went. And we were amazed,” he said. “We came last year in Montreal and again this year.”
Mr. Pavot and his wife were interviewed on Saturday afternoon, following Shen Yun’s performance at Place des Arts.
Mr. Pavot estimates that he has inspired more than 100 people to come to see Shen Yun at the Montreal and Quebec City performances this January.
“I’m a publisher so I talked about Shen Yun to many, many people,” he said.
“I know those people love the spiritual side of life—truth, beauty, and harmony. I knew that would be appealing to them, so I talked to them,” he said.
Originally from France, Mr. Pavot is the founder of two publishing houses—Les Éditions du nouveau monde and Les Éditions des bons moments in France and Quebec respectively, and is also a researcher in the field of science and spirituality, conducting workshops and seminars under his pen name of Marc Saint Hilaire.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, the premier classical Chinese dance and music company, was established in 2006 with the mission of reviving 5,000 of divinely inspired civilization, a culture had been almost destroyed under the communist regime in China today.
Touring on five continents, Shen Yun has won the hearts of audiences and critics alike through its impeccable artistry and commitment to traditional culture.
“There are no words, it’s absolutely extraordinary. It’s perfect. The music, the dance, the costumes–everything is perfect,” Mr. Pavot said.
His wife Lucie Bouchard, a sales director who has danced ballet, was in awe of the dancers.
“I have the impression they are flying,” she said. “I’m a ballerina, and I see the show and I want to dance with them.”
Ms. Bouchard was impressed at the manner in which the backdrop interacted with the artists, drawing the audience into the world of the story-based dances.
“It’s incredible. We have the impression they [the dancers] come down from heaven. It seems real,” she said. “We had the impression of being in heaven.”
Ms. Bouchard said the performance has left her transformed, and her heart filled with flowers.
“I’m bringing back a new soul…I feel there was a part of me that flew to heaven toward God.”
In Mr. Pavot’s view, art and spirituality are inherently linked in an artistic performance. “The two go together,” he said.
“That’s because for me art, true art is spiritual. Plato said that beauty is the expression of God. That’s it. Art should serve to express the divine. Shen Yun is exactly that,” he said.
Mr. Pavot was particularly impressed by one of Shen Yun’s story based dances, “The Power of Compassion.” Set in contemporary China, it depicts the story of two persecuted practitioners of Falun Dafa who find compassion for their attacker, inspiring him with their kindness and sincerity to change his life.
“There was patience, compassion, and truth,” he said referring to the principles of the Falun Dafa spiritual belief reflected in the dance piece.
“There is also the devotion, this internal dedication. You see it a lot in the gestures, and all this is incredibly exceptional,” said Mr. Pavot.
The publisher was also impressed by the music of the Shen Yun Orchestra, a unique orchestra that presents original compositions bringing out the best in the Western and Eastern classical traditions.
“It is a beautiful marriage of East and West.”
“I’m relatively demanding when it comes to music, and this music is perfect,” he said.
Ms. Bouchard shared her husband’s love.
“I found the music was romantic, it was sweet, it was soothing—it was perfect. Like my husband said, ‘It’s prefect.'”
Ms Bouchard said they would be back to see Shen Yun next year.
“We don’t miss a performance.”
Reporting by Nathalie Dieul, Dongyu Teng and Madalina Hubert
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company will perform in Montreal until Sunday before continuing on to Quebec City. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts a significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.