KITCHENER-WATERLOO, Canada—Former Canadian MP Stephen Woodworth comes to see Shen Yun Performing Arts nearly every year it tours Canada, finding in it a depth of culture that goes beyond the beauty of the performance itself.
“The philosophy beneath it, the message of truthfulness, forbearance, and compassion…on all those levels, I always enjoy the performance,” Mr. Woodworth said. In his own words, this year was probably the sixth or seventh time he has attended the performance.
Shen Yun draws people in with dance, stories and music, colourful costumes, and “the wonder and beauty and the marvel of seeing performers fly through the air,” he said.
But the deeper elements of the performance are something Woodworth said make Shen Yun especially notable.
“Wisdom is found in many places but certainly it is found in ancient Chinese culture that is presented in Shen Yun. … I hope all Canadians will have that opportunity to enjoy it.”
Shen Yun was founded on a mission to revive 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture, a culture that had a deep spirituality prior to the communist revolution there some 67 years ago. Shen Yun depicts scenes that carry ideas that guided Chinese people for thousands of years. Many of those ideas are universal, said Woodworth.
“I know that there are many people around the world that understand that the material life is not all that exists and that there is a spark of divinity in every human being,” he said.
“We sometimes forget, and it is a good idea to be reminded of the divine spark within us,” he said.
Beyond presenting classic tales from antiquity, myths, legends, and various dances from China’s diverse regions and eras, Shen Yun also has dances that depict modern day heroic tales. Given that China remains under an authoritarian regime, these can be particularly important, in Woodworth’s view.
“All around the world people face some tragic and terrible circumstances. … The interesting thing about it is that we never need hope except when we feel hopeless. It’s when we feel hopeless that hope becomes most valuable. So, it’s nice that Shen Yun offers hope to people who are experiencing difficulty. I think that is a real gift to give to people in difficult times.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has five touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. 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.