Shen Yun’s Ancient Chinese Splendour Returns to Ottawa for Seventh Season

By Cindy Chan
Cindy Chan
Cindy Chan
December 26, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Epoch Times Photo
Attending Shen Yun Performing Arts at the National Arts Centre has become an annual tradition for many theatregoers in the national capital. The New York-based company returns to Ottawa for five shows on Dec. 27–30. (Courtesy of National Arts Centre)

OTTAWA—Attending Shen Yun Performing Arts at the National Arts Centre has become an annual tradition for many enthusiastic theatregoers in the national capital area, and organizers are pleased to welcome them back as preparations ramp up for the acclaimed company’s return at the end of the month.

Mayor Jim Watson sent an official welcome in recognition of the classical Chinese dance and music production’s bright presence in the city for seven consecutive seasons.

“The National Arts Centre will serve as your focal point for Chinese culture from December 27 to 30, 2012,” he noted.

“This brilliant collaboration of Chinese dance and music, inspired by more than 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, pays homage to a country that is rich in the performing arts.

“This splendid showcase, more elaborate each year, has captivated audiences all across the world, and continues to perform for sold-out audiences in Ottawa since it arrived in 2007.”

Greetings also arrived from Governor General David Johnston, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, and Labour Minister Lisa Raitt, among other dignitaries.

Avid Fan Sees Show 14 Times

While veteran Talkin’ Broadway critic Richard Connema gave Shen Yun “Five stars, that’s the top!” saying that “the dancing is superb” and “you should go back and see [it] about six times,” Ottawa resident Robert Ikkus is taking this to a new level.

Mr. Ikkus will have seen the show 14 times by this year-end. He saw Shen Yun four times in 2010, five times in 2011, and will be seeing all five shows this year. 

He bought tickets so that he could enjoy the show from five different locations: on the left side, right side, and at the front and back of the orchestra level; as well as on the second level in the mezzanine.

Last December Mr. Ikkus expressed his appreciation of the show’s spirit and splendour by giving special praise to a song by one of the virtuoso soloists.

“Everyone is struggling for an understanding of why we are here. The lady that first sang spoke to my heart,” Mr. Ikkus commended soprano Min Jiang for her performance that spoke to the inherent goodness of people and the deep meaning of life.

In the great soprano, tenor, and baritone traditions, the soloists impressed the audience with their superb grasp of the highly difficult requirements of bel canto singing while retaining proper diction and articulation in the Chinese language.

100-City Global Tour

New York-based Shen Yun, founded in 2006 by a group of overseas Chinese artists, has the mission of “reviving 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture,” the company’s website states. 

Shen Yun’s exponential growth is testament to the impressive reception it has received worldwide. 

Since its first tour in 2007 with about 90 artists, the company has grown to three performance groups and accompanying full-size orchestras that travel to five continents with an all-new show each year.

The Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra made its international debut at the famous Carnegie Hall in New York City in October.

Shen Yun’s 2013 season, which kicked off in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 13, boasts over 300 performances in about 100 cities in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Australia, including 31 performances in eight cities across Canada.

In Ottawa, Shen Yun grew from one show in 2007—which sold out five weeks in advance—to five shows in 2011 and again in 2012. In 2010, after all three shows sold out, public demand prompted the NAC to take the rare step of selling standing-room tickets a day in advance of the first show.

Over a dozen principal dancers and choreographers of the Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company who will be visiting Ottawa this December are winners of top competitions, such as the annual international classical Chinese dance competitions held by New Tang Dynasty Television in New York. 

Shen Yun plays three evening shows on Dec. 27, 28, and 29, and two afternoon shows on Dec. 29 and 30.

For tickets and more information, call 613-800-2218 or visit

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Cindy Chan