DENVER—The former chairman of the board of the Midland Symphony Orchestra of Michigan saw Shen Yun International Company and praised the music after the evening performance on Feb. 23 at the Temple Buell Theater.
“The orchestra is excellent. It’s very interesting to me to hear the blend of the Chinese instruments and the Western instruments,” Mr. Chapman said.
According to the Shen Yun website, the ability to blend the two kinds of instruments is what makes the Shen Yun Orchestra unique. “The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear. The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization. The Chinese instruments include the erhu, dizi, pipa, and suona.”
Mr. Chapman loves classical music and enjoys going to concerts. Because he knows music well, he was able to discern subtleties in the orchestra. “It’s interesting to me because you can hear the Chinese, the pentatonic music, but you can also hear the Western chords and sort of thing.”
Even audience members who are not music experts notice the precise timing the orchestra must have to coordinate with the dancers and with the animated backdrop. Mr. Chapman found that facet of the performance intriguing.
“It was very interesting to me to see how they were able to maintain the precise timing versus the events … on the screen.” He thought it was very hard to do.
Shen Yun uses animated projected images that interact with the performers. According to the Shen Yun website, “These digital backdrop designs complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance: the characters, color of the costumes, specific dance movements, props, lighting, the story being told, particular notes played by the orchestra, and special audio effects.”
The skill of the musicians and of conductor Antonia Joy Wilson was remarkable, in Mr. Chapman’s opinion. “For me, the precision that has happen, being able to coordinate with the dancing, with the events on the screen and so on, requires a great deal of focus and precision, and that was amazing to me,” he said.
All aspects of the performance were extraordinary to Mr. Chapman. “It’s all wonderful. The costumes are amazing to me. The colors … the bright colors were just amazing, and of course the dancing,” he said.
Mr. Chapman said Shen Yun would stay with him. “It’s a unique performance, something I’ll remember for a long time.”
Reporting by Jane Yang and Mary Silver.
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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