OTTAWA, Canada—Daniel Berg, an entrepreneur who runs a spiritual centre outside Ottawa, said after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday afternoon at the National Arts Centre that the world needs more of the values inherent in traditional Chinese culture.
“Unfortunately in many places of the world especially in our society we’ve lost touch with our spiritual traditions, so having people who are bringing alive the wisdom and tradition from where they come is something the world really needs today,” he said.
“It’s lovely … it’s a beautiful performance.”
Shen Yun portrays principles from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism, such as compassion, propriety, justice, filial piety, and respect for the divine—values that are the essence of traditional Chinese culture, according to its website.
“I love the compassion, the compassion is very nice,” said Mr. Berg, a partner in the Stonebridge Haven facility, which provides respite for long-term caregivers on a donation basis as well as spiritual direction, retreats, courses in healing, transformation, and self-care.
Over its past 60 years, the communist regime that has ruled China has treated traditional Chinese values—centered on the idea of harmony between heaven and earth—as a threat to its existence, according to the Shen Yun website. As a result, the regime embarked on various campaigns to uproot traditional beliefs—bringing the Middle Kingdom’s 5,000 years of civilization to the brink of extinction.
In 2006, Shen Yun was formed by a group of overseas artists to revive the essence of the rich culture before it was lost forever.
“I think spirituality has been an ancient part of Chinese culture which unfortunately was suppressed back in the Cultural Revolution, but it’s lovely to see it coming back now and it’s lovely to see [Shen Yun] doing what they’re doing to bring that ancient tradition back to life today,” said Mr. Berg.
Shen Yun features mainly classical Chinese dance, portraying the myths and legends from ancient China along with heroic tales from the country’s rich history. The show also includes operatic performances sung in bel canto style with Chinese lyrics—something that requires arduous training and has been mastered by few in the world, the website says.
Mr. Berg particularly liked “Your Long-Awaited Song,” by soprano Yu Ming.
“The words in the song were very good, that it’s not all about wealth and power, that we all come from the same place, we’re going to the same place, and that human values, love, truth beauty—things like that are the core of who we are. And so it’s very beautiful to be having that as the artistic focus of what [Shen Yun does],” he said.
“It’s just so beautiful, it’s just so beautiful. I feel very at home and very happy to be there.”
He added that he would tell his friends, “You must come and see the beauty of Chinese culture.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Joan Delaney
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.