DETROIT—“It’s just outstanding in every way. It’s like a feast for the soul,” said Sue Mutter after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Detroit Opera House on Jan. 27. “Just flawless, beautiful playing, just so fluid and artistic, beautifully done. I can’t say enough, it was just absolutely beautiful,” she said.
Ms. Mutter teaches piano and French horn, and plays in the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.
“The musicianship and the orchestra were wonderful. I loved being able to hear the traditional Chinese instruments along with the Western instruments. It was fantastic. I loved the erhu soloist who played. She was fantastic. To get to see her playing an instrument like that was wonderful, and she was outstanding,” Ms. Mutter said.
She said the total effect of the orchestra and of the entire performance formed a beautiful whole.
“The balance was beautiful. The tone, it was just superb and I find myself not even thinking about the individual elements—the dancers, the music—but just being awed by the overall effect because it was just serene. It was really beautiful.”
Ms. Mutter said the performance made her feel serene.
“I mean I loved every moment of it. The dancing is outstanding,” she said.
Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends and heroic modern-day epics, according to its website.
“The dancing was just a feast of colors for the soul and the beautiful movement, the way it was so coordinated and just brought you a feeling of peace, it was just outstanding in every way,” Ms. Mutter said.
She said that Westerners would be able to understand everything on stage. “It was very easy to understand, very clear, and poetic at the same time. The way the choreography was done just had a gentleness about it and a respect; it was timeless,” she said.
Shen Yun’s orchestra is unique. It contains Western instruments that provide the lush symphonic sound to support the Chinese instruments, which give the orchestra its characteristic Chinese sound.
“It was just transporting you to another culture and another time and done in such a superb way. It was just beautiful. I had the joy of hearing traditional Chinese instruments once before in my life when I lived in Hong Kong and ever since then I’ve wanted to hear it again and that’s why I wanted to come today.
“And then when I got the chance, I was thrilled, just thrilled to be able to hear these people playing these beautiful instruments and then to see the dancing on top of it was just awesome, really, truly awesome. A beautiful experience,” she said.
Ms. Mutter played in the Hong Kong philharmonic years ago, which played Chinese concerts under different conductors.
Thus, she was familiar with some Chinese instruments: “I love the sound of the pipa, which is the string instrument that they pluck, and it’s beautiful.” She said she also enjoyed the erhu which she said is expressive like a violin “only with a different, more mellow sound, which I just loved.
The Chinese percussion instruments pleased her too, “The gong and all this was sounding wonderful as well. It was like a feast for the ears. Just wonderful, outstanding.”
Ms. Mutter felt that everyone, not just musicians, should see Shen Yun. “I think people of any age could enjoy it. I think it’s something everyone should see,” she said.
“When this comes back to town, everyone should find a way to come because it’s just such a rare treat, such a rare treat and it’s like nothing else you could see. It’s excellent,” she said.
Reporting by NTD Television and Sharon Kilarski.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 21 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.