WASHINGTON—The music and dance of Shen Yun Performing Arts took audience members on a journey through time and space on Wednesday night at the Kennedy Center.
“It’s magical,” said Mary Coy a graduate student of music composition at Towson University. “In a way, you get transported to this other world.” She said she could still hear the sounds of the traditional Western orchestra she is familiar with, but it was “a completely different world.”
Ms. Coy complimented the Shen Yun Orchestra on its success in bringing a traditional Western orchestra together with ancient Chinese instruments for a unique sound: “I like the combining of two worlds: you’ve got your Western orchestra and then Eastern instruments coming in, it fit together well,” said Ms. Coy.
New York-based Shen Yun travels the world reviving the 5,000 year old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, according to the company’s website. With a core of classical Chinese dance, the performance is accentuated by handmade costumes, the orchestra, and digital backdrops. Soloists are interspersed with the dance pieces.
A singer herself, Ms. Coy appreciated the several vocalists who performed. They sing in the bel canto style, according to the group’s website, singing in Chinese with an English translation on the backdrop behind them.
“The singers were all very, very impressive—it’s rare to find singers with that much talent,” said Ms. Coy. “It was very special, a special night.”
The music of Shen Yun is not the only aspect that made an impression on Ms. Coy. She said she found the costumes beautiful and also enjoyed the spiritual dimension of the performance. “It was all just fantastic,” she said.
This was Ms. Coy’s first time seeing Shen Yun perform. “It was really very exciting,” she said. “If I get the chance to come again, I definitely will come back.”
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company is performing in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 29 -- Feb 3 For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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