CHIAYI, Taiwan—Xie Yingjie, a musician who spent years in Vienna and is the conductor of Haiyun Chorus, saw Shen Yun in Chiayi City, Taiwan, on the afternoon of March 12.
As a composer, Mr. Xie enjoyed Shen Yun so much last year after seeing it for the first time that he thought of it often. “This was the second time I saw Shen Yun,” he said, “Actually, I wanted to see it a long time ago, but didn’t make it to buy a ticket. I saw it last year and was so stunned that I want to see it again this year. I also hope to do some academic studies [on Shen Yun].”
“I have been amazed from the beginning to the end,” 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 high perfection. From the academic point of view, the themes of the stories are excellent. Shen Yun is an art company. It represents the arts with high technical and academic perspectives and reaches a very high realm, which deeply moves us. It represented the divine realm of gods. What I experienced today was a divine realm of gods!”
He described his understanding and feelings about Shen Yun with four words, “beauty, ingenuity, loyalty, and justice.”
The Peak of Perfection
As a musician, he described his evaluation of the Shen Yun Orchestra, saying that the “music matched beautifully with the performance. As to their skill, the trumpets were loud and clear. Every note was accurate and clear. The skills with the violin and Chinese instruments were perfect. Their combination was quite perfect. Really, I was speechless. The artistic realm represented by Shen Yun was the peak of perfection.”
Not only the music, but the artistic whole created by all the elements together won his highest praise. Mr. Xie said: “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 match with the performers, all are absolutely superb.”
“It was very clean and brilliant,” Mr. Xie said. “In the program of the Monkey King, [Sand Monk is Blessed] for example, all were matched perfectly, absolutely perfect. The dance skill was exquisite. Everything was perfectly matched, including the music, colors of the costumes, color tones, and everything else. Indeed, I was very amazed.”
Created by God of Art
To Mr. Xie, the spiritual themes in Shen Yun were so inspiring that it was hard to put into words. “I was touched to the deep core of my soul. It makes me feel there is one more road for me to choose. I clearly see 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 art [in the show]. Without the god of art, 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 imagine!”
Mr. Xie was very glad he managed to attend Shen Yun this year. “It is the best show I’ve ever seen. I mean from the aspect of a performance and in all other aspects. I’ll come back next year.”
Shen Yun Colors ‘An imagination breakthrough’
After watching Shen Yun Performing Arts Touring Company at Chiayi Performing Arts Center on March 13, professional image designer, Pei Jie Shih said, “It’s absolutely wonderful.”
Seeing Shen Yun for the first time, Ms. Shih said she felt elated. “The strength of the singers … touches the heart. It made you feel like you were on top of the Himalayas and Mount Everest.”
She felt the totality of the artistic effect was touching. “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 touch … this performance brings up our spirit, a sensation that cannot be described. But, Shen Yun perfectly expressed that through the acts, movements, and strength of the actors, music and design.”
Ms. Shih noted a quality she saw in the performers on stage. “The dancers are enjoying it. Their joy and devotion shows in the entire program … their charm comes from the heart … they show their total devotion to their performance. They have got a smile that’s hard to forget!”
She was stunned by the colors. Ms. Shih said, “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 gave a specific example of what she meant by an imagination breakthrough. “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 impressively demonstrated both brightness and harmony,” Ms. Shih said.
Currently serving as Department Chair of Cosmetology and Image Design at WuFeng University, Ms. Shih said she felt inspired by Shen Yun. The inspiration had to do with inner meaning and how inner meaning affects 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 her body movements, posture, stature, and action, especially the smile, touches the heart … the expression is only touching when it’s uplifted by art.”
Her heart was certainly 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.”
Taking the program ‘Inspired Dance of the Yi’ as an example, she said, “The layers of dance skirt colors moved 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.”
Reporting by Dai Deman, Lisa Huang and Jenny Li
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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