Shen Yun ‘Gets People Closer Together,’ Says Canadian Business Owner

March 16, 2023 ShareSHARE

EDMONTON, Canada—On the evening of March 15, company owner Jackson von der Ohe attended Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium. He thoroughly enjoyed the show and said it was very creative and thoughtful.

“The production was extremely colourful—the athleticism, the choreography, and the footwork!” he exclaimed. “From my perspective, the show was unique in the way that every part of the performance gave you [new] perspective.”

Based in New York, Shen Yun was established in 2006 by a group of leading Chinese artists who had fled the persecution of the communist party. Under the regime’s violent rule, China’s 5,000 years of traditional culture were destroyed and the spread of atheism was rampant.

Yet for thousands of years, Chinese people were very spiritual and believed that their culture was a gift from the heavens. Shen Yun is now dedicated to reviving these traditions and showcasing to the world, through dance and music, the beauty of China before communism.

Mr. von der Ohe loved this aspect of Shen Yun and said the artists are very courageous to speak up for what they believe in.

“I think it’s very brave! Some of the positions they are taking on certain issues are very brave and appreciated,” he said.

“The position on free expression and on the repression of traditional art and culture. It’s brave to put them into the performance and make them part of your package especially when you put your name in the program and say, ‘I’m producing this.’”

Due to Shen Yun’s focus on reviving traditional culture and presenting the truth of events under communist rule in present-day Chinese society, it is currently forbidden by the regime from performing in China.

For Mr. von der Ohe, his biggest takeaway from the evening was that “humans come from the divine and they are beautiful.”

“[Shen Yun] gets people closer together,” he expressed. “There’s a message of longing for the past but also hope for the future. The work that they’re putting into their craft is creating something very beautiful and important. We appreciate it.”

Mr. von der Ohe said he will definitely be recommending Shen Yun to his friends and family because “it is different from what you’d normally see.”

“It’s a combination of beautiful music, artful presentation, and splendour. It is a very, very joyful way to spend an evening.”

Epoch Times Photo
Sheila Dewan enjoyed Shen Yun’s evening performance at the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium on March 15, 2023. (Lily Yu/The Epoch Times)

Also enjoying the performance was business owner Sheila Dewan. She loved that Shen Yun is bringing back China before communism.

“It was amazing! [The show] gave a brief synopsis of what China was like before. It’s so nice to see that even though China is very suppressed now,” she said.

“It’s nice that [Shen Yun] is touring all throughout the world and we get an opportunity to see it. If it wasn’t for the show, we wouldn’t be able to hear the full truth.”

Ms. Dewan thought Shen Yun’s portrayal of the spiritual world was “so peaceful and tastefully done.”

“Each dance has a meaning—there’s a significance behind it. When you [understood] the history—it really touches your heart.”

Referring to Shen Yun’s story-based dance piece depicting human rights issues in modern-day Chinese society, Ms. Dewan said “my heart breaks for China.”

“My prayer is that [the oppression will end] soon because there’s so much talent, so much potential, and so many gifted people. It’s a beautiful country. My prayer is that the communist regime will be crushed.”

The dance piece spoke of “freedom and suppression but at the same time, a story is being told. It brings comfort, joy, and peace. There’s a mixture of emotions,” she said.

Ms. Dewan added that Shen Yun is very important for the future of the world.

“[The show] is very important. It brings hope and unites people. Look at the sold-out audience—Shen Yun has been travelling throughout the world and people go to see it. That shows how connected we are—very connected.”

Reporting by Lily Yu and Jennifer Tseng.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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