THOUSAND OAKS Calif.—Shen Yun Performing Arts performed to a full house on Wednesday, Jan. 23. Mr. Tony Hooper, the executive vice president of Amgen Inc., a pharmaceutical company, among those gathered, expressed his delight at the production.
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company. Formed in 2006, the company aims to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture through the performing arts.
Using classical Chinese dance and ethnic or folk dances, the performance features a collection of stories or mini-dramas depicting scenes from China’s divinely-inspired culture.
Mr. Hooper said: “It’s a good representation of different cultures from a good perspective… It’s special.”
Classical Chinese dance has a history of thousands of years, embodying traditional aesthetic principles with its unique dance movements, rhythms, and inner meaning.
“Outstanding interpretation. Superb dancing.” Mr. Hooper said.
The Shen Yun website poses a question regarding combining Eastern and Western orchestration: “Is it possible for the disparate sounds of East and West to find harmony? Many have tried and failed. But the ability to seamlessly blend these two systems to create one fresh, harmonious sound is what makes the Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra unique.”
“The music is outstanding. Very good orchestra. Well-constructed. Good tempo. Followed the tonality of everything exceptionally well,” Mr. Hooper said.
Mr. Hooper praised the Shen Yun vocalists, “Outstanding. Outstanding! I’m a big fan of opera so it was good to hear them interpreting different melodies and cultures.”
The fundamental characteristic of Shen Yun Performing Arts vocal soloists, is their use of bel canto vocal technique while singing Chinese lyrics. This means that the singer must grasp the highly difficult technical requirements of bel canto operatic singing while retaining the proper Chinese articulation and diction—today, this is unparalleled, according the company’s website.
The show performs many stories from China’s 5000 year history. Mr. Hooper was especially interested in the Han culture. He said, “The story of the Han. The history of Han. That to me is very special, the beginning of a very strong culture, many, many years ago.”
Reporting by Lu Rusong and Robin Kemker.
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun’s Touring Company will visit Los Angeles Jan. 25 to Jan. 27. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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