TAICHUNG, Taiwan—Artist Chen Hanzhong attended Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company’s 2013 premier performance at the Taichung Zhongshan Hall in Taichung on the evening of March 7.
Mr. Chen has recently had his works on display at Huashan Culture Park in Taipei. He has also been invited to participate in the lacquer painting exhibition held in the Technology Museum in Japan and Shanghai. He is the champion of the first session of painting art festival in Taichung City and 2012 Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival.
Speaking about Shen Yun, Mr. Chen said that only Chinese emperors in the past could have seen such a performance. “Now we can see the show personally. I felt time counter-flowed. However, I think even the performers for the courts in the past probably couldn’t perform better than [the artists] in Shen Yun. If ancient emperors could see the show now, they would also marvel with amazement!”
“Shen Yun is just magnificent! The choreography is wonderful and the costumes are gorgeous. The music is perfectly matched with the dance. It is completely different when the female performers dance with water sleeves and the rhythm of the male actors’ dances.”
“For example, the last piece in the first half, they had costumes similar to water sleeves. With such a fast rhythm, the choreography can make the speed and scene change in such a harmonious and flawless coordination. The Tibetan Youth were brilliantly matched with the background and the colors.”
“In fact, people could feel awesome for a show with just one performer with such outstanding dance skills. However, all the dance artists, dozens of them, in this show danced so fabulously!”
Talking about the music, Mr. Chen said, “We’ve been talking about whether they created music first or the dance? The music was compiled so beautifully, and matched with the dance perfectly. The music was played to match so many actors with such a high requirement of performance overall. Their tacit understanding is unimaginable for common people.”
“It is very difficult for actors to coordinate perfectly with just a piece of music. But every performer in Shen Yun can coordinate with so many pieces of music so perfectly. I really marveled from the beginning to the end!”
Mr. Chen also carefully observed the facial expressions of the artists, saying, “Whether male or female performers, the atmosphere they brought to us with their smiles were very “truthful.” They conveyed a sincere atmosphere. How these dance performers are different from those in ancient times is that they must be happy in common times. The sincerity was from their hearts.”
Mr. Chen said that performers under totalitarian rule can hardly be sincere, because “they can’t express their bitterness in their performance.”
“However, what the Shen Yun performers express is sincerity from their hearts.”
In conclusion, Mr. Chen said that he was particularly impressed with the final piece in the first half. “I saw its central thought was gods. People become one because of this central thought. So these people have reached the realm of combining human and the divine in them.”
Authentic Shen Yun Music Reveals Chinese Essence
Ms. Shi Ni-Chun, who is a musician and an erhu teacher, was very pleased when she saw Shen Yun’s last performance in Taichung on March 9. The erhu is a traditional Chinese two-stringed bowed instrument. She said, “It’s breathtaking and magnificent. Shen Yun’s extraordinary music reveals Chinese tradition.”
Ms. Shi has been teaching and researching music for years. She was amazed by the high quality of Shen Yun’s music. She said, “The music was authentic and keeps the traditional touch. The percussionist was incredibly good. He was able to play both Eastern and Western percussion instruments. The programs blended elements of ethnic dances and were true to the tradition. One can very quickly grasp the essence of Chinese culture watching Shen Yun.”
She found the innovative digitally projected backdrop remarkable. Characters seem to emerge from it and enter it, with perfect timing. Ms. Shi said, “The backdrop technology was fantastic. It’s just beyond me how the characters could go in and out of the backdrop like they actually did! I am most impressed with the dancing in The Emperor Journeys to the Moon, when he dreamed about the moon goddess and danced when drunk. Everything seemed so real.” That dance portrays the birth of one of China’s most famous Tang Dynasty poems, “Song of Rainbow Skirt and Feathered Dress.”
“Shen Yun puts a lot of effort into costume design,” said Ms. Shi. “The costumes were different in every program and they were so fine!”
Shen Yun moved her to share her heritage with friends from another culture, she said. “I’d like to introduce Shen Yun to my Japanese friends. They love Chinese culture. I want them to understand the most original Chinese culture and see the beauty of it through this performance. The meanings of the stories presented were touching and the music was definitely worth hearing. Bravo!”
Reporting by Li Yun, Teh-Man Tai, Hsin-Yi Lin and Lisa Huang.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35
countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.