TAIPEI, Taiwan—Professor Tsai Yung-Wen, Dean of College of Performing Arts of National Taiwan University of Arts, saw Shen Yun Performing Arts on Feb. 22. As a tenor, opera director, and artist, Mr. Tsai admired how Shen Yun conveyed the highest principles of Chinese culture through art.
Mr. Tsai said that Shen Yun blends various art elements into one and succeeds in a mission to educate the audience.
“Everyone knows [the Chinese novel] Journey to the West. Simply reading or watching the story does not bring so many thrills. Through fantastic staging, brilliant dancing, and amazing music, Shen Yun’s story telling brings the audience closer to the characters in the story, and that is the cultural exchange. Nowadays, dance alone can no longer reach people’s hearts. Dance must include music, singing, and orchestra, so it can become the best choreography that moves people.”
Mr. Tsai said he understood the skill and artistry of the orchestra. “It’s very difficult for an orchestra to conduct a live performance in such marvelous way. The orchestra must have rehearsed with the dancers many, many times.”
The singers impressed Mr. Tsai. “They truly did a terrific job. Singing Chinese in bel canto style is not easy.”
Not only the vocal technique, but the meaning of the lyrics moved Mr. Tsai. He said, “Even a person who is not religious can feel the power in the lyrics,” he said.
According to Mr. Tsai, the performance’s power came from mankind’s courteous admiration of the mercy of divine beings. “When the Buddha appeared in the end, it was the most amazing and touching moment. This finale is definitely the climax of the show.”
Mr. Tsai identified with Shen Yun’s mission to revive the 5,000-year-old civilization, “Shen Yun brings out the part of the Chinese culture that has the core values that people must cherish. Our society lacks ethics, loyalty, filial piety, and righteousness. It is wrong when there is only self-interest left in people’s relationships.”
In the end, he stressed the inseparability of art and morality. “The morality and the meaning inside the art is what reaches people’s hearts.”
Reporting by Yun Li and Hsin-Yi Lin.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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