MISSISSAUGA, Canada—Ray Gupta, President and CEO of the Sunray Group, which owns 25 hotels in Ontario and Quebec, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time on the evening of April 28 and was struck by the beauty of the performance.
“My impression is, amazing!” he said. “I really, really enjoyed the show and it’s mesmerizing what they do. It’s unreal. The talent and performances—we were really taken aback by it,” he said.
Established in 2006 by a group of overseas Chinese artists, Shen Yun has set out to restore 5,000 glorious years of civilization on stage, much of which has been lost in China today. It has since become the world’s premier classical Chinese dance and music company, touring on five continents around the world every year.
“It’s a beautiful culture,” said Mr. Gupta, who noted that being of Indian background he has a certain understanding of Chinese culture.
“I relate to that a little bit because we have learned about Buddhism when we were growing up in school. So I enjoyed it very much,” he said, adding that he has gotten the chance to learn more tonight.
“I got to know a little bit more about the culture today and it was beautiful,” he said.
The ancient Chinese believed that their culture came from the heavens and emphasized the harmony between heaven, earth, and human beings.
“It comes through from the performance,” said Mr. Gupta.
One performance that particularly stood out for him was “Monkey King and the Dragon Palace,” a story inspired by the classic novel “Journey to the West.” In the dance, the Monkey King sets out to find a weapon mighty enough to match his powers, and the Dragon King allows him to choose any weapon he could lift. Little does he know that the Monkey King has his eyes on the pillar that stabilizes the sea.
Mr. Gupta was impressed by the talent and artistry that went into the performance. “How they put it together, it was amazing,” he said.
He is now hoping to bring more people to experience Shen Yun.
“I will seriously promote it to all my friends. I hope [Shen Yun will] come back next year and a lot of my friends will come and enjoy the show,” he said.
‘A wonderful life experience’
Mr. Gupta’s colleague Kailash Kasal, also a hotel owner, called Shen Yun “a wonderful life experience.”
“All the performances, their costumes, their outfits are wonderful,” he said. “I have never seen a show like this in my life.”
Also in the audience that night was Timothy Whitehead, president of a hotel consulting company who sits on the board of directors of the Living Arts Centre where the performance took place.
“The dancers are excellent, all in sync, working beautifully together, and the costumes are gorgeous too,” Mr. Whitehead said during intermission.
“And the photography behind is superb,” he added, referring to the animated backdrop that often interacts with the performances.
Mr. Whitehead especially enjoyed the story-based dance “Monks and the Red Guards,” which tells of a group of Red Guards, teenagers who were sent to the countryside to destroy books and raze temples during the Cultural Revolution. When they arrive at a Buddhist temple, however, little do they expect they will run into a group of monks with supernatural martial arts skills.
“That was fun,” he said, noting he was glad the Red Guards weren’t successful in their mission.
“Looking forward to the second half. Very glad I came,” he said.
Reporting by NTD Television, Dongyu Teng, and Madalina Hubert
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.