Shen Yun ‘Opened Up My Horizon’

PITTSBURGH—Who would expect to find spiritual resonance in a theatrical performance? Who would expect that feeling to come from a performance with its roots on the other side of the globe? Dan Newcamp and Mary Sue Certo-Newcamp certainly didn’t expect it, but after watching Shen Yun Performing Arts, they felt that connection.

“I expected it to be visually stunning and it was. I did not expect … the spiritual aspect of it, which I really enjoyed,” said Ms. Certo-Newcamp at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 25, 2020. She and her husband own their own roofing company.

“Very nice, very artful, very alive, very spiritual,” said Mr. Newcamp of Shen Yun.

Shen Yun may be based in New York, but the traditional music and dance, which it is renowned for, comes from China—and not from China today—but from a cultural heritage that reaches back 5,000 years.

Ms. Certo-Newcamp correctly assumed that the mission of Shen Yun had to do “with keeping the Chinese culture alive and keeping the spiritual aspect of the Chinese culture alive.” But she remains curious as to whether the show’s creators have felt successful in their mission.

Indeed, Shen Yun aims to restore both the classical, ancient arts of China, as well as its spiritual underpinnings. The civilization was once seeped in the understanding that man, nature, and the divine existed together in cosmic harmony.

Shen Yun reveals this spiritual legacy through short story-telling dances of some of China’s history, legends, and stories from classical literature.

This ancient Chinese culture felt inviting to Mr. Newcamp. “Watching this today, I guess in my mind, I was thinking you know, if I was to travel and spend two weeks in China and get away from the big cities—not in the big cities, but get out into the suburbia, into the country in China—would I encounter this [kind of culture?] Because if that’s the case, I would really like to go there,” he said.

It is not likely that he would. Once woven into the culture, traditional Chinese spirituality is all but gone today in the Mainland, brutally dealt with by the atheistic communist regime now in power, according to Shen Yun’s website.

Ms. Certo-Newcamp was surprised to learn both about the spirituality of the Chinese culture and how it’s been repressed: “So that was a very, very pleasant surprise and I was glad to learn the history and to learn more about it,” she said.

“It raised a lot of questions for me that I want to go and do some research, which I do frequently after seeing something that opens up my horizon.”

“This really opened up my horizon,” she said.

“And I’d like to learn more about the Chinese culture and more about this, especially the spiritual aspect of the Chinese culture that, as I said, I had no idea about,” she said.

Many of Shen Yun’s performers are practitioners of Falun Dafa, a meditative discipline, made public in 1992, that cultivates the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance. Because the spiritual discipline was so popular in China, by 1999 more people were practicing Falun Dafa than were members of the Chinese Communist Party. Since that time, Falun Dafa has suffered severe persecution in an attempt to eradicate it.

Some of Shen Yun’s short dances show the plight of Falun Dafa in China today.

“We are Roman Catholics as far as our faith,” Mr. Newcamp shared. Yet he felt many parallels between his own faith and what he was seeing on stage.

“You know, we agree with everything that we see … when we’re watching [this] show; we agree with all of that. It makes me want to go back five millenniums and start there myself,” he said.

“I was thinking something similar to that,” his wife said.

Many dances demonstrate cherished values: honesty, courage, kindness, integrity, and forgiveness.

“We … agree there’s a Creator and that we are created for something more, and to get to Heaven. That’s what I was thinking. And as Dan said, it is very similar. We go about it maybe differently. But those virtues that the show is espousing are the same virtues that our faith espouses, as well,” she said.

“So that was comforting,” she said.

With reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

 

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Author: Epoch Newsroom

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‘This speaks to me,’ Says Software Head of Product About Shen Yun

LONDON, U.K.—This Chinese New Year, the revival of traditional Chinese culture became an inspiration to others who feel that the preservation of heritage the world over is a pressing concern. Shen Yun Performing Arts is spearheading the return of China’s ancient culture, and one French ex-pat living in London said “this effort for me is absolutely crucial for everybody, not only for Chinese people.”

Jean-Pierre Durandeau is Head of Product for software company Framework and is originally from Liles, France. He attended Now York-based Shen Yun at London’s Eventim Apollo on Jan. 25, 2020.

“I think it’s fantastic because the variety of techniques of the dancers are absolutely stunning,” Durandeau said. “I really enjoy the show … But I have to say the integration of the background with the images and things like that, I think makes it a very stunning performance and it’s very, very colorful and delightful and the fact that [they] also manage to mix funny parts with some more serious parts more spiritual parts altogether makes it a very, very broad embracing performance—I really love it.”

The revival of Chinese culture, for Shen Yun, is inextricably tied to Chinese spiritual beliefs since authentic Chinese culture did not separate sacred from secular life. Beliefs and practices such as Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism permeated everyday life throughout ancient China, and appear throughout a Shen Yun performance today.

Durandeau took a lot away from these themes, he said.

“Basically when you reference to divinity and all these kinds of things, this is the part I call ‘spiritual’ because let’s say it really speaks to the religious part of our mind, yes,” he said, acknowledging that the pursuit of the sacred may be rooted in everyone.

“There is something which I’ve always said is that wherever there is divinity the message is roughly the same because it’s basically bringing people together and sharing together values,” he said.

“So from that point of view, this speaks to me as it should speak to anybody who has any kind of reasonable religious feeling inside, irrespectively of whether it’s Christian, or … From that point of view, that’s clear for me, that’s [a] universal message,” Durandeau said, referring to Shen Yun’s inclusion of scenes with the Creator and other heavenly beings.

Jean-Pierre Durandeau, head of product for a major data management software company, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts on Jan. 25, 2020 at London’s Eventim Apollo. (Mary Mann/The Epoch Times)

Durandeau went on to share his thoughts about Shen Yun’s mission to restore traditional Chinese culture for the good of the world.

“I think, let’s say, when you have a country with such a long history, with such a rich philosophy and history of ideas and creations, I think it’s very valuable not to lose this culture, or to lose these traditions, but on the contrary, to be sure that it is kept alive and it is being transmitted from one generation to the next.

“I think one of the things that we are losing here in Europe is basically our traditions, our own culture; we do not transmit that to the others. It’s the same kind of problem so, from that point of view, this effort for me is absolutely crucial for everybody, not only for Chinese people or for people from Chinese descent, but also for the world itself because we cannot afford to lose traditions, culture, philosophy, ideas which have made a huge nation, a great nation.”

To Shen Yun’s dancers and artists, Durandeau wished them “Happy New Year. All the best. I think it’s the year of the rat. I’m a tiger by the way!”

With reporting by Mary Mann and Brett Featherstone.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

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Author: Epoch Newsroom

US to Evacuate Consulate Staff, Some Citizens From Wuhan

BEIJING—The U.S. State Department said on Sunday it will evacuate personnel from its Wuhan consulate to the United States and will offer a limited number of seats to private U.S. citizens on a flight out of the epicenter of China’s coronavirus outbreak.

The State Department, in an emailed statement, said some private U.S. citizens will be able to board a “single flight” leaving Wuhan on Jan. 28 bound for San Francisco, requesting those interested to contact the U.S. embassy in Beijing with their personal information.

“This capacity is extremely limited and if there is insufficient ability to transport everyone who expresses interest, priority will be given to individuals at greater risk from coronavirus,” said the statement.

Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China, is in virtual lockdown following a deadly outbreak of a new coronavirus that emerged there at the end of last year. Public transport, including airplanes and trains, have been suspended.

Other countries, including France and Australia, have said they are considering options to get their citizens out of Wuhan.

China’s foreign ministry said in a statement issued on Saturday it is making arrangements and providing assistance to the U.S. government to facilitate the evacuation.

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Author: Reuters

Shen Yun Dancers Show Balance of Grace and Power

DETROIT—Lia Moore discovered the beauty of dance movements when she was 8 years old visiting Epcot Center. Ever since, she’s been attracted to Asian culture and has wanted to spend all her time in China and Japan.

Having studied Chinese opera in college, and now being a professional dancer in the styles of Hawaiian, Hula, Tahitian, and Maori, she feels this has given her a  good understanding of how theater works in terms of the Asian culture in general.

On Jan. 25, 2020, Moore attended Shen Yun Performing Arts World Company’s evening performance with her mother.

The New York-based Shen Yun is a music and dance company that endeavors to revitalize traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance.

As a dancer herself, one of the things she noticed in Shen Yun was some of the unique characteristics between the male and female dancers.

“I thought they were beautiful,” Moore said of the female dancers, adding that they were very graceful and very entertaining to watch. “Just the grace you have on stage and being able to command a stage at the same time is amazing,” she said.

Moore said thought the male dances were awesome. “In American culture, you don’t see that at all. You don’t see men who have that sort of power and grace at the same time,” she pointed out. “And you could definitely see that the men had power and grace. Definitely something we lack, that balance, that yin and yang, that Asian influence and power.”

As Shen Yun’s website explains, “Chinese dance is at the heart of what Shen Yun does. Known for its incredible flips and spins, and its gentle elegance, it is one of the most rigorous and expressive art forms in the world.”

“All Asian cultures, their dances, the way they do theater is very expressive,” Moore explained. “Everything is expressed through dance … and they did an amazing job doing that.”

Based on her experience, Moore mentioned how the incorporation of elements into a dance, whether it be a costume element, or a prop element is a challenging aspect of putting together a program. Many dances incorporated interesting props, or costumes that flowed and moved as if they were props.

“It’s very challenging, and they did it with grace. It’s beautiful,” she said.

She felt that the choreography was amazing. “The choreographers definitely kept you on your toes, especially when you were figuring out what was coming next … [it] was visually very appealing, very stimulating,” the dancer explained.

For its backdrops, Shen Yun utilizes digital projection which depict various scenes from heavenly realms, to imperial courts, to rural landscapes. Not only are they visually stunning but they are also animated and interact with the performers.

“The timing and the precision and the execution of that was nearly flawless,” Moore said of the dancers interaction with the digital backdrops. “It really was a lot of a fun to have that interactive aspect. Again, it’s not something that’s being done on a high scale right now, so it’s very unique to this environment.”

If she were able to say anything to the dancers, first of all, she’d say “Happy New Year!” and she would tell them how much she appreciated their message. “There was a message that was coming through, there was definitely a message about what’s happening to their own people that was definitely portrayed throughout it but not overly done. So I thought it was powerfully portrayed, but yet still subtle in a way … amazing job. Thank you for being here, for showing up, for being present and just giving your absolute best,” she said.

With reporting by Dongyu Teng and Andrew Darin.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

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Author: Epoch Newsroom

Australian Government Working to Pull Aussies From China

The Australian government is working with Chinese authorities to get Australians in coronavirus-affected areas home.

It comes as the nation’s chief medical officer says it’s likely there will be more cases of the coronavirus in Australia, following confirmation of four cases.

Coronavirus has killed 56 people in China and the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the illness, remains in lockdown.

Professor Brendan Murphy says he will be sending out a message to GPs across the country on how to handle patients who present with symptoms of the deadly illness.

Three men are in hospital in Sydney after flying in from China, while another man in his 50s is being treated in Melbourne.

“There is no cause for general concern,” Murphy told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

“I would not be surprised if there are some more cases … it’s highly likely that we may see them some more.

“We are incredibly well prepared to isolate and deal with that.”

Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the government would look to assist Australians with travel out of China, with several cities in lockdown as authorities try to contain the virus.

“We are seeking advice from the Chinese authorities on these restrictions and whether any options are available to international travellers,” Senator Payne said.

“Our embassy in Beijing and our consulate in Shanghai are also working with international partners and the Chinese government to determine what support can be given to Australians on the ground.”

Two of the men hospitalised in Sydney flew directly from Wuhan, a 53-year-old on Jan. 20 and a 43-year-old two days prior. The third man, aged 35, arrived from the southern city of Shenzhen on Jan. 6.

A fourth, also aged in his 50s, was Australia’s first confirmed case of the virus after he touched down in Melbourne from Guangzhou on Jan. 19.

Only the 53-year-old man is thought to have been contagious while travelling to Australia. He flew to Sydney on China Eastern flight MU749, and authorities are obtaining details of other passengers on that flight.

Meanwhile, passengers on China Southern Airlines flight CZ321 from Guangzhou to Melbourne on Jan. 19 are also being contacted as a precaution.

Chinese authorities are scrambling to stop the spread of the deadly illness, restricting transport in the Hubei province including its capital Wuhan.

Coronavirus has been confirmed in other countries including Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, France, Malaysia, and the United States.

Experts are still learning about the virus and Murphy says it’s important people arriving from Wuhan, as well as those in close contact with them, look out for symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting, and difficulty breathing.

Australians are being told not to travel to Wuhan or Hubei province.

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Author: AAP

Malaysia Confirms Fourth Case of Coronavirus Infection

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysia reported a fourth case of coronavirus infection late Saturday, just hours after it announced its first confirmed cases.

The newly identified virus can cause pneumonia, which has been deadly in some cases. It is still unclear how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.

Health Ministry Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest case was a 40-year-old man from Wuhan, China, who was part of a tour group that traveled by bus to the southern state of Johor from Singapore on Wednesday.

The man had suffered from fever the next day and sought treatment at a hospital in Johor. Tests by Malaysia’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre confirmed he was suffering from the coronavirus, Noor Hisham said.

“He is currently experiencing fever and cough, but his condition is stable,” Noor Hisham said in a statement.

Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad had earlier announced three confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in three Chinese nationals, the first reported in Malaysia.

The three were related to a 66-year-old man confirmed by Singapore to have tested positive for the virus.

The infected individuals were a 65-year-old woman, who is the wife of the man with the virus in Singapore, and their two grandsons, aged 11 and 2, Dzulkefly said.

The three have been admitted to hospital in Kuala Lumpur and were in stable conditions, the minister told a news conference.

Malaysia Airports said it had heightened screening of passengers and crew arriving from China at gateway airports across the country to minimize the potential spread of the virus.

By Joseph Sipalan

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Author: Reuters

Chocolate Trends and a First Taste of New Flavors at SF Food Show

SAN FRANCISCO⁠—A bar of Madagascar dark chocolate infused with California black figs had a fragrant, fruity taste. Dominican Republic chocolate chunks had a flavor solid and rich. A sweet dried pineapple covered in dark chocolate made its way from the Philippines.

Exotic chocolates from all over the world participated in the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) Winter Fancy Food Show at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from Jan. 19–21.

It was the first time the annual show included a chocolate pavilion, and the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA) brought 26 exhibitors for it.

“The thing that really brings them together is their passion for quality chocolate,” said Bill Guyton, executive director of the FCIA. “We want to move the bar. We want to help consumers expand their minds, and enjoy the wonderful flavors that chocolate can bring.”

Presenters got up on a stage in the pavilion to speak about the fine chocolate industry. Guyton said he noticed some new trends this year.

“People are interested in pairings,” he said. “There is discussion about pairing chocolate with tea for example, and there was another one about pairing chocolate with cheese.”

Another trend is single-origin chocolates. Many chocolates are made by blending cacao beans from different regions. But the artisan, single-origin chocolates source beans from one area to focus on the terroir of that bean.

A Hobby-Turned-Vocation

Dustin Taylor, owner of Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate, is based in Eureka, California. He and his business partner met in college and were carpenters for 13 years. Hence, their branding has a carpentry and boat-building vibe.

They stumbled upon a YouTube video on chocolate making and started making some at home as a hobby.

“Friends liked it—I [thought] we might as well try selling it to subsidize our hobby,” he said. “We ended up in a hardwood lumberyard making chocolate in a little 500-square-foot commercial kitchen, and those were the early days.

“Now we’re here, 10 years later, and we ship chocolate to all over the world, and we’ve won all sorts of awards, six different [Specialty Food Association sofi awards], and having a great time at it.”

A Family Enterprise

Nadia Rizek is a fifth generation owner of Kahkow, a company that sources cacao beans from the Dominican Republic. The family-run business has been growing, fermenting, and exporting its beans since it was founded in 1905.

About 10 years ago, they decided to make their own chocolate bars, and the bars were a hit. So they opened their first shop in Brooklyn, called Kahkow USA.

In addition to selling chocolate, they educate people about chocolate-making.

“It’s an open factory space with a live feed of the farms in DR, so you can feel like you are inside a farm in the Dominican Republic,” said Rizek. “We want to make amazing chocolate for people to taste, but we also want to show the potential of these beans for chocolate-makers.”

Beyond Good in Madagascar

Beyond Good, formerly called Madécasse, prioritizes transparency in its chocolate-making process. The lemur on their packaging means that their farm is also providing the endangered species with a stable habitat.

“We are one of the only U.S. companies producing at the source in Africa. So we have a farm-to-factory, fully transparent, equitable sourcing from farm to factory,” said Ashton Pina, director of communications at Beyond Good.

“We work with a hundred farmers to grow and ferment and dry all our cocoa beans, which then get shipped to our factory in Madagascar.”

Farmer and Chocolate-Maker

A lesser-known origin for cocoa beans is the Philippines. Malagos Chocolate has had its own farm since 2003 and a chocolate factory since 2012.

“We make it from scratch, so it’s a tree-to-bar chocolate,” said Rex Victor Puentespina, a cacao farmer and chocolate-maker.

First Taste of New Flavors

Foodies could sample from the newest products of over 80,000 presenters in the exhibition hall.

The Italian company Loacker has released two new flavors of wafers: double chocolate and matcha green tea. Both flavors are squeezed between its thin and crispy wafers.

Biscuit-maker Hello Panda will have a caramel flavor available starting in April. The caramel inside the biscuit was subtle and creamy.

Hello Panda caramel-filled biscuits at the Winter Fancy Food Show on Jan. 20, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)

SoulBee Honey is selling powdered and flaky honey as natural sweeteners. The super-fine powder melts in your mouth and turns into a honey-like consistency.

Other companies introduced new twists on existing products.

Blüm⁠, a wholesale almond company⁠, will soon launch its first retail product.

“This is a do-it-yourself kit that has the almonds, the oil, and the seasoning in it. You add it, shake it, put it in the microwave for two minutes, and you have a nice, hot, fresh toasted almond,” said Christy Peterson, a Blüm sales representative.

Let Them Eat Candles, run by a mother of three sons, came up with an edible chocolate birthday candle that won’t melt onto itself.

“The wick is a short, paraffin-coated cotton. You light it … it lasts for about 55 seconds,” said Loree Sandler, owner of Let Them Eat Candles. “So you have long enough to sing and blow it out, make your wish. And then there’s a little piece of wick left that you pluck out, and then you eat the chocolate that’s left.”

Let Them Eat Candles chocolate candles on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)

Woodland Foods, known for providing specialty ingredients, has some new dish starters.

“Mole starters, curry starters, and sambal starters,”  said Peter Hellenbrand, sales representative at Woodland Foods. “They’re very unique and convenient easy-to-use products. Just add water for an authentic curry, mole or sambal.”

Woodland Foods dish starters on display at the Winter Fancy Food Show on Jan. 20, 2020. (Ilene Eng/The Epoch Times)

Duverger’s Macarons, based in Southern California, introduced a new birthday cake flavor made with natural and organic ingredients.

“We use only vegetables, fruits, and spices for the color of the shells and we use only fresh ingredients to make the filling,” said Claire Duverger, owner of Duverger’s Macarons.

The Summer Fancy Food Show will take place in New York City from June 28–30.

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Author: Ilene Eng

US, Other Countries Scramble to Evacuate Citizens From Epidemic-Hit Wuhan

The U.S. government is sending a charter flight to evacuate American citizens out of Wuhan, the now-locked down Chinese city where the deadly coronavirus outbreak first began.

The death toll has reached 56, while the number of infections climbed to more than 2,000—a more than thirty-fold increase since Chinese authorities reported the virus’ first victim two weeks ago.

It has since spread to more than 12 countries and regions outside of China, causing two Americans to fall ill in Seattle and Chicago.

The World Health Organization has assessed the risk of the outbreak as “very high” in China at the regional level and moderate at the global level.

Wuhan, home to 11 million population including around 1,000 U.S. citizens, was the first of 16 cities in China’s central Hubei province that has effectively come under quarantine. Currently, no bus, train, or plane are going in and out of the city.

Chinese health workers wait to check the temperature of travelers entering a subway station during the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival in Beijing, China, on Jan. 25, 2020. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Photos circulating on Chinese social media showed Chinese officials inside Hubei and in nearby cities setting up roadblocks with bricks, rocks, and sand to prevent traffic flows. Excavators were mobilized on occasions to assist the effort. In one of them, a residential house in an unidentified village was sealed off with ropes. The red banner on the door read: “This household has migrants who came back from Wuhan, please don’t exchange visits.”

The United States has contracted a private transporter and the consulate is reaching out to all it knows in order to fly them out, Wall Street Journal first reported. The plane can take about 230 people each time.

The State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel and family members to leave as of Jan. 23, according to its website. Details of the evacuation are still being finalized and are subject to change.

A spokesperson for the State Department told The Epoch Times on Saturday that the health and safety of U.S. citizens, including U.S. consulate workers in Wuhan, is their “top priority.”

There are currently limited emergency services available to U.S. citizens across Hubei province. The full range of consular services, such as visa applications, remain available at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and U.S. consulates in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenyang, according to the spokesperson.

The spokesperson also encouraged individuals to enrol in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive notifications and any health and security alerts or government plans.

The State Department has updated travel alert to level 4, warning citizens not to travel to Hubei, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended travelers to exercise precautions when visiting other parts of China.

At least 67 people from 22 U.S. states have been under isolation for suspected pneumonia symptoms, including four in New York.

A Jan. 24 study by UK and U.S. researchers said the coronavirus could infect as many as 250,000 in the Chinese city of Wuhan alone in less than two weeks’ time.

Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy is also working with Chinese authorities on moving their citizens from Wuhan and from Hubei Province, Georgy Egorov, a press officer for the Russian Embassy in China, told Russian media RIA Novosti. He noted that there are no infections among Russians citizens.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday said they were in contact with 35 Singaporeans living in Wuhan city, and so far, no one has reported illness. The country’s health officials have identified four cases of infection.

French automaker PSA, which manufactures Peugeot and Citroen brands, said on Saturday that it will expatriate 38 employees from Wuhan.

The foreign ministry of France has set up an emergency phone line for its nationals in China. The French foreign minister said on Jan. 25 that they are working with the Chinese side to set up a bus service allowing French citizens to leave Wuhan.

Two of three Chinese nationals carrying coronavirus arrived in France without showing any immediate symptoms, according to officials.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II has also directed the evacuation of Jordanians from Wuhan “as soon as possible,” according to Jordan’s Petra state news agency. A plane is being organized for their extraction.

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Author: Eva Fu

Man Who Flew to Toronto From China Is Canada’s First Coronavirus Case

TORONTO—A man in his 50s who travelled to Toronto from China earlier this week has become the first Canadian case of the new coronavirus, health officials said Saturday as they urged calm in the face of an international outbreak.

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said the case was considered “presumptive positive” until the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg finds the same positive results as the tests conducted in Toronto.

Still, officials said they were taking all precautions to keep people safe, interviewing all those who were in contact with the man between Wednesday, when he landed in Toronto, and Thursday, when he went to hospital.

“The risk to Ontarians is still low and things are managed and well-controlled,” Williams said. “As I hoped, the system is operating as it should.”

Williams said provincial authorities are also working with their federal counterparts to contact people who sat within a few rows of the man on the plane he took to Toronto, but he noted that even those people shouldn’t worry too much.

“You have to be more than just casually walking by someone,” he said.

He added that the widely available information about the illness appears to have contributed to the early detection of this case.

“The individual, knowing his responsibility, when feeling unwell, even without having really severe symptoms, was concerned enough and informed prompt enough,” Williams said. “That just tells you that people have knowledge of it, they want to take proper precautions to protect their health and protect their family members and others.”

His deputy, Dr. Barbara Yaffe, said the positive test result came in on Saturday afternoon, two days after the patient called 911 to report feeling ill. As of Saturday evening, he was in stable condition in a negative pressure room, which is used in hospitals to contain airborne contaminants.

“The emergency service was aware of his travel history and used full precautions,” she said, noting he had spent time in Wuhan, the virus’s epicentre.

The news of Canada’s first coronavirus patient comes as authorities around the world grapple with the new type of virus, which originated in China but has since spread to Europe and North America.

There are more than 1,975 cases so far, including three in France and two in the United States.

While 56 people have died of the virus in China—most of the deaths have been older patients—the World Health Organization has not declared the outbreak an international public health emergency.

Toronto Mayor John Tory stressed in a statement following news of the city’s first coronavirus case that health officials have made it clear the risk continues to remain low. He also praised the city’s public health officials for their quick response.

“Our front-line health-care workers are the best in the world and have procedures in place to keep people safe,” Tory said.

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu echoed the sentiment in a written statement, saying officials are taking all necessary precautions.

“The Government of Canada has been working closely with provincial and territorial counterparts, and international partners, since China first reported 2019-nCoV cases to ensure that our country is prepared to limit the spread of 2019-nCoV in Canada,” she said.

The new virus comes from a large family of coronaviruses, some causing nothing worse than a common cold. But in late 2002, a coronavirus named severe acute respiratory syndrome erupted in southern China, causing a severe pneumonia that rapidly spread to other countries. SARS infected more than 8,000 people and killed nearly 800, including 44 Canadians. Toronto was hard hit in that outbreak.

In 2012, another coronavirus dubbed Middle East respiratory syndrome began sickening people in Saudi Arabia. MERS is still prevalent, causing small numbers of infections each year. The World Health Organization has counted nearly 2,500 cases in the Middle East and beyond, and more than 850 deaths.

SARS and MERS came from animals, and this newest virus almost certainly did, too. The first people infected visited or worked at a seafood market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been placed under quarantine since the outbreak.

Bustling streets, malls and other public spaces have turned eerily quiet, masks are mandatory in public, and some hospitals have run low on medical supplies. Transportation has also been shut down in roughly a dozen Chinese cities, home to roughly 36 million people.

Canadian officials have said such mass quarantines won’t happen here, even if there is an outbreak.

It is not clear how lethal the new coronavirus is or even whether it is as dangerous as the ordinary flu, which results in 12,200 hospitalizations and about 3,500 deaths in Canada yearly.

The federal government has beefed up measures at major airports in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, asking travellers whether they had been to Wuhan in the past 14 days, with a positive response triggering further investigation.

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Author: The Canadian Press

Dance Teacher Says Shen Yun Is Exquisite

PITTSBURGH–On Chinese New Year, Shen Yun Performing Arts performed at The Benedum Center for the Performing Arts and showcased traditional Chinese culture through classical Chinese dance and music.

Also known as the Lunar New Year, the Chinese New Year is a momentous occasion, which made it the perfect time for these audience members to watch Shen Yun in celebration of traditional Chinese culture.

Instructional designer and dance teacher Rebecca Coley came to see the New York-based performing arts company on Jan. 25, 2020. She teaches jazz dance at Carnegie Mellon University.

Coming from a dancing background herself, Coley was most interested in Shen Yun’s display of classical Chinese dance.

“It’s exquisite, I love it. I’ve never seen such collective grace in all the dance shows I’ve seen. It’s amazing,” the dance instructor said.

Coley said that Shen Yun’s performance was the most well executed dance performance she has seen. What she found that led her to that conclusion was that all of Shen Yun’s dancers performed at a high level of skill and grace.

She said, “I mean, not the just the collective precision, but the collective grace. There’s not one stand out dancer in the entire ensemble. They were all stand-out principal dancers, which is very different from all the American companies I see where there’s three or four principle dancers, and it’s apparent that they’re the stars of the company per se, but there’s just this collective skill that I can’t pick out one star, if that makes sense.”

A complete system of dance that has existed for thousands of years, classical Chinese dance is an important element of Shen Yun as well as traditional Chinese culture.

According to the company’s website, this style of dance is an accumulation of profound wisdom from every period of Chinese civilization, and has become and embodiment of traditional aesthetic principles which includes bearing, form, and technical skill.

Classical Chinese dance is also comprised of unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning. Shen Yun dancers emphasize the importance of expressing their emotions and inner thoughts to the audience. Coley noticed this characteristic.

“It is exquisite. I keep going back to the same words I used, but it’s exquisite, and there’s a meaning behind every piece that it’s not just dance for the sake of dance. There’s a message behind it, so it’s an experience,” she said.

Not only do Shen Yun dancers practice self-expression, but they also strive to improve themselves every day, in all areas of their life.

According to the company’s website, “There’s something that unites Shen Yun artists beyond performing arts. These artists are also spiritual seekers on a shared journey. They mediate together, study teachings together, and strive to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.”

Coley believed this part of Shen Yun was very prominent in the performance, especially in the dance, “Abetting the Wicked”, a story about practitioners of Falun Dafa undergoing persecution by the Chinese Communist Party.

“It clearly must make a difference, because again, there’s a different spirit to the show than other dance performances that I’ve seen, so there’s something special,” she said.

Coley added, “The message I received from it is the ability to rise above, and the ability to find grace and beauty despite what you have to face in this world. I think that was the strongest takeaway.”

With reporting by NTD Television and Don Tran.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

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Author: Epoch Newsroom