(Minghui.org) Snow-covered roads weren’t enough to stop theatergoers from attending five sold-out shows staged by Shen Yun Performing Arts at Canada’s renowned Place des Arts theatre, in Montreal, on January 3-6, 2013. Audience members’ resounding rounds of applause could be heard over and over again. Some people wiped away tears, while others’ faces were bright with smiles.
Company Executive Watches Shen Yun for Fifth Year
Carl Larochelle watched Shen Yun Performing Arts for the fifth year at the Place des Arts in Montreal on Saturday Jan. 5, 2013. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
One appreciative audience member, Carl Larochelle, the managing director of a Montreal-based company, described Shen Yun as a “beautiful show” that shows the whole range of Chinese history, and “demonstrates well the rich culture of China.”
It is precisely why he has watched the show for the fifth year in a row.
Having lived in China from 1994-1998, he said he “fell in love with a China that no longer exists today. It’s very hard to find the cultural part of China. So coming back to this kind of show makes it special and reminds me of the vast richness of the cultural part in China.”
He continued, “It’s a beautiful show. Every year it changes, that is very true, it’s different. I’ve come here for five years. It’s different every year.”
He described the choreography as “excellent,” adding “And the artists are very dedicated people, they’re passionate, and you can see that there’s not one glitch.”
Mr. Larochelle said that Shen Yun is restoring the glorious culture of China as it once was, that is, bringing back China’s true traditions, and showing the cultural, historical, as well as the spiritual side of China.
“It really shows how deep-rooted people were back then, and how values were different at that time, and how evolved people of each dynasty were. So, that’s very special,” he said.
He noted that Chinese people are “special” and “smart.” “They’re the inventors of many ideas and many things, and I think the show in general shows [that through the] choreography and the way people dance and the music, it just shows an image of people that are deep.
“It’s an image of people that are true. It’s an image of people that are compassionate. You may not necessarily find it today, but I think back then they had a tighter bond to the family, to the roots, to the culture, and to the history.”
Mr. Larochelle said that he also enjoyed the solo erhu performance by Xiaochun Qi. The erhu is a Chinese two-stringed instrument with a hauntingly beautiful sound.
“[The erhu performance] helps you calm down and relax and find your feelings deep inside. I really appreciate it.”
Mr. Larochelle said that he’ll definitely be coming back to see the show again next year.
International Model/Fashion Designer Thrilled by Shen Yun
International fashion designer and model Julia Larina enjoyed Shen Yun at Montreal’s Place des Arts Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
Also in the audience was the Russian-born, international fashion designer and model Julia Larina, who exclaimed, “I enjoyed [the Shen Yun show], it’s a new experience for me!”
“I think it totally represents Chinese traditional culture,” she said.
Ms. Larina, who was crowned Miss Russia and Miss Europe in 2005, also worked with fashion models, organized fashion shows, and currently works as a fire performer—that is, she dances with fire.
She said the dance sets were “wonderful!” especially ‘When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor,’ a story-based piece about how monks in a temple ended up eating meat, which Buddhist monks have been forbidden to eat for centuries.
She also enjoyed Shen Yun’s wide array of costumes and colors, saying that they are both energizing and uplifting.
“Beautiful costumes,” she said. “Wonderful, beautiful, colorful, nice, bright. It gives energy, it gives good humor.”
Ms. Larina particularly liked tenor Yuan Qu’s performance, saying, “I really enjoyed listening to the tenor. That’s the kind of voice I like to listen to. It’s very comfortable to my ear. I did enjoy it.”
She said that she wished that Shen Yun “would come more often to Montreal, because I do like going to Place des Arts to watch different kinds of shows.”
“Elegant,” Said Ethics Expert of Shen Yun
Also in attendance was Michel Bergeron, who praised Shen Yun for its artistic qualities and its portrayal of different aspects of life in China.
“I really like the elegance—the artistic aspect of it—and the kind of unity just going through it,” he said.
“With both the costumes and movement, there’s this elegance that is translated throughout the dance, and there’s also a part of the aliveness of the dancers that permeates the dance.”
Mr. Bergeron is a member of the Canadian government’s Interagency Advisory Panel on Research Ethics. The panel is part of a collaborative effort to promote the ethical conduct of research involving human participants.
Mr. Bergeron noted that the unity of the dancers did not overshadow each dancer’s individuality.
“In some dancers, I see some differences in the way they express, in the way they use their eyes, in the way they move,” he said.
He especially liked the traditional ‘Mongolian Bowl Dance’ in which female dancers skillfully balance bowls on their heads in a dance of welcome.
“The three main dancers at the front were not balancing the bowl the same way, were not using their hands exactly the same way,” Mr. Bergeron said.
“They expressed some openness in some cases—in some cases their hands were more closed—and that was interesting to see how they expressed the same dance and the same movement a little bit different.”
He was full of praise for the choreography and the coordination among the dancers, saying, “I find it really nice, really interesting.”
Former Quebec Deputy Minister: Shen Yun Is “Splendid”
The cast of Shen Yun’s New York Company say goodbye to Montreal after a run of five sold-out shows, Jan. 6. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
Another VIP audience member, Normand Bolduc, a former Quebec assistant deputy minister and current president of the Council of Administrative Justice, drove for three hours to attend the show.
“It’s splendid, it’s marvelous,” he said, adding, “It’s hard to find the right words to express all the feelings we have seeing [the show].”
Mr. Bolduc said that he felt that he had gained a deeper appreciation of Chinese culture, after seeing Shen Yun.
“This kind of culture is marvelous. It’s a really rich culture. It really impressed me. Basically, it was amazing!” he exclaimed.
Shen Yun Profoundly Touches NHL Official
Mr. Luc-Benoît Lauzon, an official with the National Hockey League, praised Shen Yun dancers and their performance at Place des Arts on Jan. 4. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
Luc-Benoît Lauzon, a National Hockey League (NHL) official and founder of a consulting business, was also in the audience. “We feel the purity, authenticity, and the glow of the people who are in the show,” he said after the performance.
Mr. Lauzon said that he felt something really special from the dancers, singers, and musicians.
“We feel the same purity in their voices and their movements. When you hear the songs, the sound of the orchestra, we feel the sincerity that’s emanated. This is the first thing that strikes you,” he explained.
Mr. Lauzon was fascinated by the synchronization of the Shen Yun dancers.
“It is not simply the synchronization between the people who are on the stage, but one with the music and the animated backdrop. A prerecorded soundtrack could not be more accurate. This synchronicity is incredible!”
The NHL official said that typically in life, the harder and longer one works for something, the easier it gets.
“Tonight, everything seemed so easy [for the dancers]. I would question the amount of work they had to do to make it seem so easy. People were jumping and we had the impression that they’ve been doing this since forever, without even needing warm-up or practice,” said Mr. Lauzon.
Shen Yun Offers Grace and Hope to Former UK Politician
Former UK MP Alan Simpson enjoyed a matinee performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts at Montreal’s Place des Arts theatre Jan. 5. Mr. Simpson said the show has a message of peace and tolerance the world needs to hear. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times.)
Also in the audience was former UK Member of Parliament, Alan Simpson, who was accompanied by his wife. The couple said they were eager to see Shen Yun, which had been highly recommended by their close friends.
Mr. Simpson said the show was “lovely.” “I think that one of the things that the West doesn’t properly understand is just how rich and diverse Chinese culture and history are. The show is very good at capturing how wide and deep the culture is.”
Both the artistry and spirituality of the show impressed Mr. Simpson.
“Artistically, it is beautiful. It is just completely filled with grace and as a planet we could do with all the grace we can find,” he articulated.
Referring to Shen Yun Performing Arts, he said: “Any company from any culture that is taking a message of peace, tolerance, reflection and spiritual grace is something to be welcomed,” said Mr. Simpson.
Mr. Simpson has worked for the release of several Falun Gong practitioners whose families were imprisoned or detained in China.
He thought that what Falun Gong practitioners are doing is “essentially spiritual, peaceful, artistic, and creative.”
In fact, Falun Gong’s principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are rooted in traditional Chinese culture, and many Chinese people have reconnected with this heritage after embracing the spiritual practice.
The former UK MP’s message to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has always been, “Look, it’s a big mistake to take something that is spiritual and try to redefine it as though it is political or military. It isn’t peace that is a threat to the planet today, it’s the absence of peace.”
He also told the CCP, “Embrace something that connects people to their own past—it will be an asset and not a threat.”
Mr. Simpson believes that the values and principles portrayed in Shen Yun are necessary for people to embrace as they move forward.
“It’s going to depend on us understanding how interdependent we are on each other and how tolerance and inclusion will be the hallmark of any society that hopes to survive,” he concluded.
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts