MISSISSAUGA, Canada—When teacher Bozica Sajatovic attended Shen Yun Performing Arts on April 26 at the Living Arts Centre, what made the deepest impression on her were the words of the songs performed by the vocalists of the classical Chinese dance and music production.
She was so moved that after the performance, she told her mother, “Mama, I want you to see it,” and she made sure to bring her mother, Maria, the next night.
“What they were singing, there weren’t a lot of words, but they just seemed to touch everybody to look at their life a little differently. It just made you understand your life and you realized, ‘Everybody’s feeling this way,'” Ms. Sajatovic said when she came to pick up her mother after the performance on April 27.
“Maybe it was like a Buddha system, how you should be living your life and what people are losing out in their life because they are looking for something that they can’t find,” she said.
“I think the songs were trying to send a message that we’re all here for a specific reason and this is how we should live our lives and nothing else matters.”
Ms. Sajatovic’s feelings very much resonate with the mission of the classical Chinese performing arts company—to revive the traditional Chinese culture, whose essence is a deep respect for and faith in the divine. It is also connected to a belief in virtue based on the ancient moral and spiritual ideals originating from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism. They can be seen expressed in principles such as benevolence and justice, propriety and wisdom.
‘Touching a part of your soul’
But Ms. Sajatovic noticed that these are universal ideals and reflect a quest for life’s meaning that people of all cultures share.
“You don’t realize that every culture—even though there are different religions—are striving for the same thing out of life … what life really is and what you are looking for,” she said.
She said that the previous day, she was sad after leaving the performance, and wondered why, since it was such a good one. Then she realized the reason.
“It made me look at life being short, and you have to live life the way it’s supposed to be lived,” she said. “You can’t really deny yourself spiritually; the materialistic isn’t going to make you happy, because by the end of the day, you’re still sad. But [Shen Yun is] saying, we all feel that way; you’re searching for the materialistic, but you’re still not happy.”
For Ms. Sajatovic, the words in the songs, which were rich with philosophical reflection about human life, were “specific to our souls.”
“If you focus on those words, then you feel something. It’s not a regular song. It’s touching a part of your soul, which you’re not even conscious of,” she said.
“What your subconscious already knows, your regular mind can’t pretend now it doesn’t know. You experienced it.”
Ms. Sajatovic said she examined her own life and saw that she wanted to make some changes, because “I’m not living the way I should be living.”
“I’m trying to keep busy with everything possible, but that’s not my soul being happy,” she said.
“Everybody in that room is getting the same message, but it’s so true to yourself, so then you start realizing a little more about your soul’s mission in life.”
‘It gives us a boost’
Ms. Sajatovic’s feelings were shared by other audience members at the Shen Yun performance on Wednesday night.
“I very much enjoyed the spirituality, the movement, the music,” said White Eagle, an aboriginal elder from Newmarket, who noted that he also connected to the philosophy conveyed by Shen Yun.
“According to traditional Aboriginal teachings, this touched all four parts of the human condition: the body, the mind, the spirit, and the emotions,” he said of the performance.
For two retired employees of Air Canada, Elsa Uhl and her friend Ms. Guirguis, Shen Yun left them uplifted.
“It gives us a boost, the words and all that movement, and the colours all together,” Ms. Guirguis said. “It gives you, yes, very much so, hope for the future, better things to come for the future, people to be better for the future.”
“Nice words that are meaningful to your soul—it touched me a lot, it gave me some hope,” said Ms. Uhl.
“The dances, the moves, the colours, fascinating, absolutely beautiful. We really enjoyed it. We look forward to coming back again,” Ms. Guirguis said.
“Excellent performance. It was beautiful. It’s to be seen several times,” said her friend, adding that it is “very meaningful too, very meaningful.”
Reporting by Madalina Hubert, Dongyu Teng, and Cindy Chan
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s International Company is currently touring Eastern Canada. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
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.