WASHINGTON—One important reason people came to the Kennedy Center Opera House to watch the weekend performances of Shen Yun was just to be entertained.
Often, too, when we see something that brings us pleasure, we don’t know exactly how that magical moment was achieved.
Leonard Pederson and Barbara Seagle live in Maryland and run a law office in the District. Mr. Pederson, the CEO of the firm, wonders how Shen Yun was able to integrate everything so perfectly: “One of things that struck me was when [the stage] would have a background, a video background and things like people flying through the air and then all of a sudden they popped up onto the stage, and it was done so well. The timing of the music to what was happening was just exquisite. I don’t know how they did it. I was trying to figure it out … Very enjoyable.”
Barbara Seagle, who is the office manager of the law office, added to what Mr. Pederson had said, “I loved the scenery that [they] had behind where [they] blended the still with the real,” she said.
Mr. Pederson and Ms. Seagel were referring to the state-of-the-art graphics technology which Shen Yun has developed to a high degree. “The digital projection infinitely expands and transforms the stage,” according to the Shen Yun website.
The backdrops can transport one to completely different realms. The landscapes shown are often spectacular and complement the mood projected in the story or dance.
Ms. Seagle also said, “I loved the music. I loved the dancing. I loved the choreography, everything about it … .” She added later, “I hope to go again sometime and see another show.”
Mr. Pederson noted the athletic ability of the male dancers in particular. “The women are graceful and the men are so strong, especially in all kinds of their dance.”
He was especially impressed by the performer’s difficult tumbling and aerial flips.
“They were doing some things that are very difficult and they made it look simple. So it was very enjoyable tonight,” he said.
Mr. Seagle referred to “a lady who played a two stringed instrument that I found very, very peaceful.” The instrument was the erhu.
“The erhu has a 1,000-year history in China. During the Song Dynasty, the erhu emerged from another stringed instrument that was native to a minority group in northern China,” according an Epoch Times article.
Mr. Pederson heard the solo act of erhu instrumentalist Xiaochun Qi, who is a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory.
The erhu can be described as a two-string violin but with a unique sound that some find sad and mellow, with a deep penetrating quality that must be heard to really understand.
Mr. Pederson said of the erhu piece he heard in the program, “I’m interested in getting some of that kind of music that I can have playing during the daytime when I’m thinking in the office. Very soothing.”
This year is the seventh year in which Shen Yun Performing Arts came to the nation’s capital. Saturday matinee and evening, and Sunday matinee were sold out.
Reporting by NTD Television and Gary Feuerberg.
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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