OTTAWA, Canada—Father David Berezowski, director of administration for the Military Ordinariate of Canada, thought that Shen Yun Performing Arts is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also has a relatable spiritual aspect.
“It’s excellent. I found it culturally enlightening and so vivid with the colours, and the dancers are top-notch,” Father Berezowski said after seeing Shen Yun at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre on March 18. “The spiritual aspects of it, I very much align with that, so I can relate to it very much.”
New York-based Shen Yun, the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, aims to revive the culture of China before it was all but destroyed after decades of rule by the communist regime.
According to the Shen Yun website, China was once known as the “Land of the Divine.”
“This reflected a belief that its glorious culture was brought down from above. People sought harmony among Heaven, Earth, and humankind, and followed the course of nature,” the website says.
“But in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party came to power. It saw this spiritual heritage as an ideological threat and for decades tried to destroy these traditions.”
But, since 2006, Shen Yun’s artists have worked to bring the culture “back from the brink of extinction,” the website says.
‘Have to Start With Faith’
Father Berezowski said Shen Yun gave him an insight into the history of China. He added that through the performance, he saw commonalities in his beliefs and the spirituality in the Chinese culture.
“You have to start with faith, you have to believe in the creator, you have to know there is a power higher than ourselves, and that we cannot manipulate that,” he said. “We have to work in unison with the creator to bring us back to the heavenly divine kingdom where we started from.”
Father Berezowski added that he saw these themes reflected in the lyrics of one of the vocalists in Shen Yun as well.
“It was all very well done and very entertaining,” he said.
Reporting by Dongyu Teng.