Former Canadian Member of Parliament Sees True Freedom in Shen Yun

Apr 12, 2024
Former Canadian Member of Parliament Sees True Freedom in Shen Yun
Phil and Nancy McColeman at the Shen Yun Performing Arts performance at FirstOntario Concert Hall in Hamilton, Ont., on April 11, 2024. (Charlie Lu/The Epoch Times)

HAMILTON, Canada—Former member of Parliament Phil McColeman saw the expression of freedom that China once had through Shen Yun Performing Arts at FirstOntario Concert Hall on April 11.

“I view it as an absolutely refreshing, wonderful way to approach China over the 5,000 years and the dynasties before communism,” Mr. McColeman said.

New York-based Shen Yun, founded in 2006 by a small group of leading Chinese artists, is on a mission to revive China’s 5,000 years of culture—China before communism—and present it to audiences around the world.

“The relevance of this show points out that there is no freedom under communism, no freedom of expression. And, of course, the arts are lost because this show cannot play in China. It would be forbidden,” said Mr. McColeman.

Shen Yun also reminded him of the freedom that people often take for granted in our society.

“Our freedom and our liberty and all the things we have, we often take for granted. And we’re witnessing here tonight, from an ideological point of view, what true freedom is and has been in China prior to communism,” he said.

Before communism took power, China was a place filled with a deep respect for the heavens. Mr. McColeman found that Shen Yun’s presentation of spirituality was inclusive of all beliefs.

“It totally aligned with all spirituality, which focuses on God, which focuses on a higher being, which focuses on the salvation, and the divine being the salvation and the way,” he said.

Shen Yun displays values that are essential to society, and Mr. McColeman said those values are what we should live by.

“It gives us instruction on how to live,” he said, noting that “all of the virtues that were on display tonight through the arts are common to all of our cultures.”

He also said he found Shen Yun’s artists courageous, “because I think that more people have to be courageous from all walks of life to be able to say boldly and in a manner that doesn’t apologize for the fact that we are spiritual beings.”

Mr. McColeman’s wife, Nancy, was astounded by the artistic talent of Shen Yun. The artists are trained in classical Chinese dance, which, alongside ballet, is one of the most comprehensive dance systems in the world.

“I thought that the costumes were just beautiful. I’ve never seen so much color in a show before,” said Mrs. McColeman.

One unique feature of classical Chinese dance is the technique of quick, small steps that carry the dancer across the stage in a light and floating manner.

“Beauty, grace,” Mrs. McColeman said. “You could tell they worked really, really hard on it. And I said that the dancers, they were just floating on the stage.”

Reporting by Charlie Lu and Maria Han.
The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.
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