(Minghui.org) Shen Yun Performing Arts, the world renowned classical Chinese dance company, performed five spectacular sold-out shows in Canada, at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, on December 27-30, 2012.
Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company performed five sold-out shows in four days in Ottawa, Canada’s capital
Retired Musician Inspired To Live Another 75 Years, After Seeing Shen Yun
Retired musician Jean-Jaques Brunel and Hélène Therien (L) attends the Shen Yun show on December 30
Audience member, Jean-Jacques Brunel, 75, a retired musician, attended the Shen Yun show accompanied by his friend, Hélène Therien, who suggested that he see the performance—after having seen it a few years ago.
Mr. Brunel, who plays several instruments and taught music in high school, said that the Shen Yun Orchestra was spot on.
“Everything is perfect,” he said, “It’s the way the musicians attack the notes. You know music. It’s not what we play, it’s the way we play [it].”
The former musical director-conductor for music education talked about how much he appreciated the music, describing it as “larger than life.” He said that he felt that his life was richer from having experienced the show.
Mr. Brunel enthused, “I take my hat off to everybody,” adding, “I want to live another 75 [years]!”
Ms. Therien said that she “…found this show to be extremely, extremely inspiring.”
She explained, “I took my [injured grandchild] four years ago, and it inspired me, it gave me hope in life again. And to see it again today, I’m very inspired.”
Ms. Therien comes from a musical family in which everyone likes to sing and some are in the arts.
“It’s one of the most wonderful shows I have ever seen in my life,” she said, adding that her dream is to return next year with her daughter, as she thinks it will inspire her.
Ms. Therien explained why she liked all aspects of the show. “Every part of this show is inspiring and very well done. Everything about it is amazing. The way they are together, the way they move. The music, the colors, everything about it, I think, is extremely inspiring.
“The way they danced, the synchronicity, the colors, it’s so beautiful.”
She concluded, “Also we learned so much about the culture, and also found out how it’s going today. Everything, the music, these people, the way they move, the way they’re so graceful. Everything is amazing!”
Shen Yun Is a “Tremendous Show,” Says Former UN Officer
Captain Gilles Plouffe (R), a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, took in Shen Yun Performing Arts for the second year in a row with his son Raymond at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa Dec. 29.
Bob Simmonds, a former United Nations officer, said that he was impressed by the entire Shen Yun production.
“It’s a tremendous show,” he said. “The show is really amazing.”
His wife, Susanne Sarault, a singer and jazz/ballet dancer, thought that everyone should see the performance.
“[Shen Yun] is absolutely fabulous. If anybody hasn’t seen this before, they have to come see it,” she said.
Ms. Sarault continued, “It’s such an ancient society and there is a lot we don’t know [about it] because it goes back so many years. And it’s nice to know as well, that there are a lot of values and a lot of principles of life that are part of [traditional Chinese] society.
“It is very profound, very philosophical; a very different way of looking at life.”
Mr. Simmonds thoroughly enjoyed Shen Yun’s digitally animated backdrops, saying they were “tremendously well done.”
His wife added, “The colors and the technical aspect of the dancing and the special effects with the screen—I’ve never seen that before.”
Shen Yun Is a Family Tradition For Queen’s Medal Winner
It was Captain Gilles Plouffe’s second time seeing Shen Yun. The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient attended the performance with his son, Raymond.
“It’s becoming a yearly [tradition],” Mr. Plouffe said, adding “It’s the second one [we've seen together] and we’re really appreciating it. We recommend it to all our friends, of course.”
Mr. Plouffe mentioned that Raymond made sure that the family got tickets to this year’s performance, after being deeply touched by last year’s show.
The captain was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal on October 4, for 22 years of service with Commissionaires, Canada’s premier security company.
Not only did he appreciate Shen Yun for its beauty and pageantry, but also for its desire to restore traditional Chinese culture.
Among Shen Yun’s story-based dances are true-life stories of the courage and peaceful resistance of the practitioners of the spiritual discipline, Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), and how they faced the injustice and persecution by the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr. Plouffe commented, “We have the same concerns worldwide. We don’t like injustice, everybody wants to be treated fairly, everybody wants to love their fellow man. And this message is there [in Shen Yun]. The message is conveyed, and received.”
He also enjoyed Shen Yun’s digitized backdrops and handmade costumes, noting that “The pageantry, the dresses, beautiful imagery, and the synchronicity with the video and the actors is beautiful and seamless.”
Mr. Plouffe was also impressed with the perfectly choreographed synchronicity of the dancers in Shen Yun’s large group dances.
“Everything is synchronized. I really appreciate that,” he said. “The pageantry, everything is nice and well-coordinated.”
He also commented on the trilingual emcees, who introduce each dance in the program, allowing audience members to have a deeper understanding of each dance-story.
Mr. Plouffe said “It’s fun,” adding, “They speak French, English, Chinese, and it’s beautiful.”
As far as Shen Yun’s solo vocalists who sing in bel canto operatic style with Chinese lyrics, Mr. Plouffe said that he appreciated the fact that the lyrics are translated into English, French, and Chinese, and projected on digital backdrops behind the singers.
“The singing for the soprano and the tenor was on the display,” he said. “We see the words so we can appreciate what he or she is saying or singing, and it makes it that much more enjoyable.”
China Expert/Former Diplomat Finds Hope in Shen Yun
Former diplomat Brian McAdam shares his joy at the revival of Chinese culture as seen in Shen Yun after taking in the show for the seventh time at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, December 29.
A loyal fan of Shen Yun, Mr. McAdam has taken in every show that has come to Ottawa—seven and counting.
He feels that the show provides him a ray of hope for China. “Very elegant, very beautiful, and very moving,” Mr. McAdam said, adding, “I found at the end, I was very moved by what I just saw. I recognize the effort that goes into this production.
“You can just see the dancers are filled with life. Just amazing. It’s not like a normal production that one would see, like a Broadway production. You see this phenomenal human spirit, it’s fantastic.”
Mr. McAdam lived in Hong Kong for three years. “I remember going to so many Communist productions because I was curious to see what they were like, because they all had rifles and they had little red books and banners and shouting, singing all these slogans.
“It was the ultimate in necrophilia, which basically means a death culture. That’s of course what was taking place at the time, because Mao Zedong proclaimed that he wanted to destroy all the traditional Chinese culture. And he tried to do that, they’re still trying to do that.”
Mr. McAdam went on to explain that in the process of destroying traditional Chinese culture, the Chinese Communist Party has killed tens of millions of Chinese people. And yet, the culture it tried to destroy lives on, resurrected in Shen Yun’s performances, he said.
“I’m so happy that people can see this culture. It’s fantastic.”
Shen Yun’s performances feature splendid color and uplifting portrayals of the legends and historical figures of China’s rich history. Mr. McAdam said this effort to revive Chinese culture is phenomenal.
“The Communists came into power in 1949, so most of the people living today haven’t seen very much of Chinese culture,” said Mr. McAdam.
He talked about China’s recent past and how people associate China with brutal authoritarianism. He pointed out that more recently, China is seen in terms of tall buildings and its rapid development. But there is still a lack of real human development.
“You’re not seeing any progress of human beings, and it’s certainly not filled with love; it’s filled with greed. So, it’s wonderful that this is coming out for people to see. This is the real [traditional] China that they’re portraying, and certainly what I carry in my mind as the real China.”
Mr. McAdam concluded, “It’s something to be very, very proud of, and I think it’s a marvelous production, and I’ll certainly go year after year.”
Shen Yun’s Effort to Revive Chinese Culture Applauded By MPP
MPP Jack MacLaren attended his second Shen Yun show with his wife and daughter
Another distinguished member of the audience, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) Jack MacLaren attended the Shen Yun show, accompanied by his wife and one of his daughters.
“I love the beautiful costumes, the dancing, expression of the culture, and the music was wonderful too,” he said.
“My daughter … was very impressed. She really liked the piece about the phoenix bird [Phoenix Fairies]. She enjoyed that.”
Mr. MacLaren and his wife brought a different daughter last year to see the show. “I just enjoyed the whole show. I thought it was wonderful,” he said.
The MMP thought that Shen Yun gave an entertaining and interesting glimpse into China’s ancient cultural history.
“I think it was wonderful. I’d recommend it to anybody to come and see it,” he said.
“I was just very impressed by it all. Very meaningful presentation.”
Mr. MacLaren mentioned that he was especially moved by the two dance sets depicting the modern-day persecution of practitioners of the Falun Gong meditation practice in China.
“There’s a problem in China, and there’s abuse of people there,” Mr. MacLaren said.
“There has been different peoples, different groups, that over time have been persecuted in China. And Falun Gong is the one we were talking about the most today,” he noted.
“I’m very bothered by the fact that Falun Gong is being so persecuted in China,” he added.
Mr. MacLaren felt it was important for people of the Western world to understand China’s long history and rich culture, and that the Communist regime has suppressed that culture.
“A lot of it has been torn down and lost, and it’s wonderful that this show is … reminding people that this is part of the Chinese history, the culture and the history of China.”
He said that he appreciated the fact that Shen Yun was reviving China’s traditional culture while educating people about its rich history.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing and everybody would enjoy it.”
“Shen Yun Is Fantastically Great,” Says Music Director
Music Director Patrick Roy saw Shen Yun at the National Arts Centre on Saturday Dec. 29, for the fourth year running.
Audience member, Patrick Roy, a music director for several Catholic churches in the Ottawa area, said he fell in love with Shen Yun.
“I’m enjoying this,” he said. “This is my fourth year coming back to Shen Yun and every year I learn a little bit more about Shen Yun, the musicalities behind it, and I’m loving it. It’s great, as usual,” he explained.
When asked about his thoughts on Shen Yun’s unique philharmonic orchestra that includes both Western and Chinese instruments, he said, “The music is fantastic, in a nutshell. The instrumentation—great. The harmonies are very well in sync with the choreography and the costumes of the beautiful dancers.”
Mr. Roy thoroughly enjoyed Shen Yun’s vocal soloists, saying, “The soloist—you can tell she’s classically trained, as well as the tenor; he just fills up the room. I enjoyed particularly the female soloist.”
Mr. Roy concluded with, “Shen Yun is fantastically great, and as we learned today, ‘wo ai Shen Yun’ means ‘I love Shen Yun.’”
Shen Yun Is “Fantastic!” Says Canadian Official
Executive Vice President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Bashir Hassanali, was also in the audience. It was his first time seeing Shen Yun.
Mr. Hassanali said that besides being entertaining, the show also provided a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese culture.
“The backdrops, the dancing, the music, the costumes…it’s fantastic,” he said.
Chinese version available
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts