Shen Yun Is Sound from Heaven, Says Photographer
Professional photographer and painter Li Shiao-Shi and his wife. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Many talented and professional people from all walks of life, flocked to see Shen Yun perform at the Chiayi Performing Arts Center.
Professional photographer, painter, and mountain climber, Mr. Li Shiao-Shi, and his wife, Ms. Lin Ching-Ching, a school teacher, were among those who attended the March 11 performance.
Mr. Li had a sense of nostalgia after seeing Shen Yun’s graceful presentation of historical stories.
Ms. Lin enjoyed watching the enchanting smiles of the dancers, both male and female. “I enjoyed the dancing even more because I knew that they [the dancers] were enjoying it as well,” she said.
The scenes of crystal ice and bright snow from the dance,“Dancing for the Gods,” which depicts Tibetan reverence for the divine, caught Mr. Li’s eye. “Absolutely graceful!” he said.
He recalled some of the dances he loved most: “The feather costumes from the Tang Dynasty in ‘Ancient Elegance’ made me feel nostalgic for the old times,” he said.
“The dancing in ‘When Shaolin Monks Protected the Emperor’ and ‘Sand Monk Is Blessed,’ are most definitely worth seeing. ‘Mongolian Bowl Dance’ presents the characteristics of the borderland. Marvelous performance!”
Mr. Li was full of praise for the Shen Yun Orchestra, which combines both Western and Chinese instruments.
“The music has an ancient charm to it and brings out the essence of the five thousand years of Chinese culture. It is pure and energetic, as though the sound descended from heaven,” he said.
“The show mixed together dance, music, and high-tech backdrops so perfectly,” he said. “It is simply a performance of high-level art.”
“Inspired Dance of Yi,” was Ms. Lin’s favorite. “The luxurious costumes stood out in the exquisite dance movements. They were like beautiful butterflies, flying in the sky with stunning and brilliant colors.”
Shen Yun Purifies Human Hearts, Says College Dean
Dean of the College of Humanities and Arts at National Chiayi University, Liu Rong-Yi. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also in the audience was Liu Rong-Yi, dean of the College of Humanities and Arts at National Chiayi University.
Dean Liu was impressed with Shen Yun’s mission of promoting traditional morality and culture, saying that the show is “saving people with the compassionate concept that gods love the world.”
He added, “Based on moral tradition, Shen Yun preserves the most traditional dances of our culture. It purifies human hearts and beautifies human lives through artistic form. What Shen Yun has been doing deserves our recognition.
“This group of people [Shen Yun artists] have been working hard to preserve traditional Chinese dance, in order to pass it down to our future generations. In particular, the all-new show it presents each year, always makes people feel very refreshed. I hope that more people can understand the magnificence of our traditional dances.”
Dean Liu believes that traditional culture can be passed down to the younger generations through the legends performed by Shen Yun, such as “Sand Monk Is Blessed” and “The Emperor Journeys to the Moon.”
“It is very creative to adapt traditional Chinese stories or legends into dance dramas, which can allow young people to have more insight into our traditional culture,” he explained.
The dean was very impressed by the Shen Yun Orchestra.“They did an excellent job in terms of the sound effect, especially the combination of the Shen Yun Orchestra’s blend of Western instruments and our own traditional musical instruments; it is outstanding.”
He added, “While the traditional Chinese pentatonic scale is applied to the Shen Yun Orchestra’s musical arrangement, the music is played by [both Eastern and] Western instruments. Accompanied by a Western orchestra, the rhyme in Chinese music is played by the erhu. The rhyme can be fully demonstrated by the tremendous grandeur of their performance. This kind of music is very unique and very wonderful!”
“[Shen Yun] Will Bring You Happiness and Enjoyment!”
Section chief Chen Jing (L) and Yunlin County Education director Chiu Hsiao-wen. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Ten Yunlin County government officials attended the Shen Yun show, along with county magistrate Su Chih-fen, and Yunlin County education director Chiu Hsiao-wen.
During intermission, director Chiu said, “I feel very happy and delighted. The program is very fast-paced and succinct, and both the dance and the overall artistic presentation are impeccable.
“I can tell they [Shen Yun artists] underwent a lot of rigorous training in basic skills. Whether it was the dance, music, stage, or backdrop, they paid attention to every detail. Therefore, the atmosphere and ambiance they generated was very comfortable and refreshing.”
Chiu said that he had attended Shen Yun several years ago in Taichung but noted that “what I saw this year is completely different.
“The style and the flavor presented are completely different, as well. As to the legendary programs that they presented, the performance approach was different, too. It took just a very brief bit of time to demonstrate what they wanted to present [on stage], using their movements and body language. I think it is not something that’s easy to come by.”
Mr. Chiu said he was “amazed by the songs sung by the two solo vocalists,” adding, “They touched the bottom of my heart.”
Chiu described the colors in the show as “very brilliant and eye-catching.” He said the overall designs were “really wonderful. All the performers, designers, and those behind the scene, have really done a great job.”
He concluded, “[Shen Yun] will bring you happiness and enjoyment! This kind of artistic conception performed with fast-paced and succinct programs is indeed not easy to come by.”
Radio VP Feels Blessed to Watch Shen Yun
Host and VP of The Voice of Kagi Radio Network Cheng Yu-Lung and his friend. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Another delighted audience member, Cheng Yu-Lung, host and vice president of The Voice of Kagi Radio Network, attended the show with a friend.
“I heard that Shen Yun was peerlessly brilliant. I certainly am not disappointed’ it’s perfect! It’s the most supreme arts performance I have ever seen.”
Mr. Cheng talked about the “smart combination of the light and sound effects,” which when added to other art elements in the show, “was stunning.”
“The male artists manifested strength and boldness and their performance was sharp, powerful, and smooth. The female artists manifested elegance and beauty. This is the best oriental dance I have seen that radiates the charm of traditional Chinese dance.”
Mr. Cheng felt sad for the father and daughter who tortured Beijing in “Unexpected Encounter,” a dance which portrays the ongoing persecution of Falun Dafa, a meditation practice.
“It was a simple pursuit of truthfulness, compassion, forbearance, and unfortunately the bad guys [Chinese communist regime] had to ruin it.”
Mr. Cheng appreciated the work and ingenuity that went into producing the digital background.
“For the background to look real, the artists had to have a very precise control of their movements because there is no room for error. The background animation was three dimensional and depicted the stories very well. The sound effect in ‘Sand Monk Is Blessed’ was even manifested in the animation, unbelievable!” he enthused.
Mr. Cheng described Shen Yun’s vocalists as “world class.”
The last program “Divine Mercy” caused Mr. Cheng to ponder, “It gives me a feeling that one must respect nature and return to his true self. Mankind should not be so arrogant and think that it is capable of everything.
“I will definitely share this mesmerizing performance with my [radio listening] audience and tell them that they must come to see it themselves,” Mr. Cheng concluded.
“Live Music Very Pleasing to the Ears”
Yunlin County chief Su Chih-Fen. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Yunlin county chief, Su Chih-Fen, attended the show along with many other county officials.
Ms. Su explained, “Shen Yun is an internationally renowned arts group. Its performance manifests the aesthetics of classical Chinese dance. Their coming here to our city is a great blessing for our local students.”
This is Ms. Su’s third time to wee Shen Yun. She said of the live orchestra, “The live music is very pleasing to the ear.”
Ms. Su liked how the ethnic dances fully portrayed the dancers’ masculinity and femininity.
“The dances of Yi and Tibet demonstrated both the soft beauty of women and the masculinity of men. Fantastic!” she exclaimed.
She expressed her admiration for the artists.
“They are so young yet so professional,” she said. “It’s not just their physical movements, but also the emotions extending from these movements. They did a spectacular job.”
She also enjoyed the costumes, saying, “How did they make the costumes so dazzling and exceptionally beautiful?!”
One of the performances, portraying the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, really moved Ms. Su.
“The world should head in the direction of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Falun Dafa is a positive practice and should be welcomed.”
Ms. Su said that watching Shen Yun “will make your life artistic and positive, which is a great development for everyone’s heart.”
Shen Yun “Represents the Divine Realm of Gods,” Says Musician
Conductor Xie Yingjie. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Xie Yingjie, a musician and conductor of the Haiyun Chorus, said that after seeing Shen Yun last year, he was so “stunned” that he wanted to see it again this year. “I also hope to do some academic studies [on Shen Yun].”
“I have been amazed from the very beginning to the very end of the show,” he said.
“The beauty of the dance and the music is incredibly wonderful. The stage and sound designs are really rare and precious,” said Mr. Xie.
He added, “From the technical perspective, the skills are masterful. You can say they’ve reached a high level of perfection. From an academic point of view, the story themes are excellent.
“Shen Yun is an arts company. It represents the arts with high technical and academic perspectives and reaches a very high realm, which deeply moves us. It represents the divine realm of gods. What I experienced today was a divine realm of gods!”
He described Shen Yun in four words: “beauty, ingenuity, loyalty, and justice.”
The Peak of Perfection
Being a musician, Mr. Xie noted that the Shen Yun Orchestra’s “music matched beautifully with the performance. As to their skill, the trumpets were loud and clear. Every note was accurate and clear.
“The violin and Chinese instruments were played perfectly. Their combination was perfect. Really, I was speechless. The artistic realm that Shen Yun represents is the peak of perfection.”
He described his overall impression of the show: “From the skill level, the timing of the percussion, to the entire choreography, and the style, the excellent dance and the dynamic backdrops and how they matched with the performers, all are absolutely superb.”
“It was very clean and brilliant,” Mr. Xie said. “In the program with the Monkey King [‘Sand Monk is Blessed’], for example, all were matched perfectly, absolutely perfect. The dance skill I saw was exquisite.
“Everything was perfectly matched, including the music, costume colors, color tones, and everything else. Indeed, I was very amazed!”
Created by the God of Arts
Shen Yun’s spiritual themes inspired Mr. Xie. “I was touched to the deep core of my soul. It makes me feel that there is one more road for me to choose. I clearly see that there is one more road for me, though I can’t express it clearly.
“I think Shen Yun has a thorough arrangement … the divine realm of these programs is high.”
The musician expressed a nearly mystical sense of the inspiration behind the art of Shen Yun: “I felt the god of arts [in the show]. Without the god of arts, I truly believe that the choreographers couldn’t choreograph such a program.
“I believe that human creators can’t create it. I felt that there was some power. Some unseen power is pushing it. The effects that the technical, academic, and artistic aspects have reached are beyond my imagination. The realm is so high that I just can’t even imagine it!”
Mr. Xie felt glad that he was able to attend Shen Yun this year. “It is the best show I’ve ever seen … from a performance perspective, and in all other aspects. I’ll come back next year!”
Shen Yun’s Colors “An Imagination Breakthrough”
Image designer Ms. Pei Jie Shih. (Photo courtesy of The Epoch Times)
Also in attendance was professional image designer and department chair of Cosmetology and Image Design at Wu Feng University, Pei Jie Shih, who said the show was “absolutely wonderful.”
“The strength of the singers … touches the heart. It made you feel like you were on top of the Himalayas and Mount Everest,” she enthused.
“The coordination of the dancers and the live orchestra … the orchestrated display of the plot, the stage design, music, and the artists are phenomenal; are even more powerful than words can describe. I was moved by the grace and spirit of classical Chinese dance.”
For Ms. Shih, Shen Yun had a spiritual and soul-comforting effect. “Everyone needs spiritual comfort … this performance elevates our spirit, a sensation that cannot be described. However, Shen Yun perfectly expressed that through the acts, movements, strength of the dancers, music, and design.”
Ms. Shih noted that the dancers were really enjoying themselves on stage. “Their joy and devotion shows in the entire program … their charm comes from the heart … they show their total devotion to their performance. They’ve got a smile that’s hard to forget!”
She said she was stunned by the colors. “The entire show used mostly colors of high chroma,” meaning colors that are very bright and pure and saturated.
“According to my profession, it is very difficult to combine so many colors of high chroma. (Shen Yun’s color coordination) is an imagination breakthrough to me.”
Ms. Shih explained further: “I would not have combined purple and green, for instance, for one is cool and the other is warm. But Shen Yun was able to coordinate them so well that the entire stage and image are just wonderful. Their outfits demonstrated both brightness and harmony.”
She said she was inspired by Shen Yun because of its inner meaning, which had a direct bearing on the show’s outer beauty.
“First of all, I believe in cultural heritage,” Ms. Shih said. “We should teach students to focus on how their inner world would change and impact image design.
“Our students should watch Shen Yun and learn that the inner beauty, not the language, but the body movements, posture, stature, and action, especially the smile, touches the heart … one’s expression is only touching when it’s uplifted by art.”
Ms. Shih’s heart was clearly touched. “This show inspired me with this inner-meaning aspect in image design, rather than a superficial aspect. It is both impressive and moving.”
To her, Shen Yun offered new artistic freedom. “It is a way to break through the confinement. We have been confined by the system and believed that certain colors don’t match. However, this performance has demonstrated that it can be not only gorgeous but also consistent with the traditional Chinese culture.”
Using the piece, “Inspired Dance of the Yi,” as an example, Ms. Shih said, “The layers of dance-skirt colors moving in circles in the dance are just beautiful. It is very vivid, and at the same time, it is concentric with the meaning of happiness.”
CATEGORY: Shen Yun Performing Arts