By Rahul Vaidyanath, Epoch Times Ottawa Staff, Jan 15, 2008-
Brian McAdam, a former diplomat who has much experience and insight on Asia, attended Sunday’s Chinese New Year Spectacular at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa with his wife, Marie.
They attended last year’s show as well, and were just as impressed this time around.
“I loved the beauty of all the dancers, and of course, the costumes are extraordinary. I really enjoyed the drums, they were so dramatic, synchronized beyond belief, incredible,” said McAdam.
Professor Paul J. Davidson’s comments echoed that of the McAdams as well as the many VIPs in attendance on Sunday night.
“It’s an excellent show; it has a lot of values to it. I found it very enjoyable. It shows a lot of positive things for people to think about,” said Davidson, professor in the Department of Law at Carleton University and the chair of the Committee on Asian Studies.
The Spectacular features a combination of Western and Chinese musical instruments in a live orchestra. A digital background screen displayed the lyrics in English and French.
Culture Cannot Be Suppressed
The Chinese New Year Spectacular portrays traditional Chinese culture through song, dance, and storytelling.
McAdam is well aware of the destruction of the Chinese culture, having lived in Hong Kong in 1968 when the Cultural Revolution was just beginning.
“Of course, the Cultural Revolution was an attempt to destroy the old culture. They were trying to destroy a culture that was almost 5,000 years old, and I thought they could never do that.”
“The communists tried to take the arts and the crafts and the music and the dance of the old culture and tried to impose their [will]. It was basically a cultural death,” he said.
MacAdam discussed how the situation in China relates to the types of suppression that have been seen in other countries and why the Chinese New Year Spectacular is so special.
“Nazi Germany turned out to be a death cult. The Soviet Union tried the same thing. They tried to destroy what the Russian culture was all about. Unfortunately these tyrants survived for decades, but ultimately this human spirit brings back the true culture of the society. It’s marvelous to see again.”
Despite efforts to interfere with the show’s success by the Chinese communist regime each year through its embassies and consulates, the Spectacular continues to grow and thrive.
“They don’t want the show to have success because, again, they are a death cult. That’s what they are and they don’t want to have people realize there’s another way of living.” By the end of its global tour, an expected 650,000 people in over 60 cities will have seen the performances by Divine Performing Arts.