NEW YORK—Actress and soprano singer Sione Owen described Shen Yun Performing Arts soloists Tianling Song and Haolan Geng as “very, very beautiful singers,” and magnificent. She described Geng’s encore performance as breathtaking and dramatic.
Ms. Owen attended Shen Yun’s performance at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater on Sunday after wanting to see it for three years. It was Shen Yun’s final performance in New York before continuing its world tour. Shen Yun completely changes its program every year, so it will return to the city next year with an all-new performance.
The New York-based company is on a mission to revive 5,000 years of Chinese culture through story-based classical Chinese dance. The performance also includes soloists, such as Song and Geng, both sopranos, and a solo performance on the erhu, a two-stringed instrument similar to a violin.
“The music was gorgeous,” Ms. Owen said. “I like the fact that you had the Western orchestra and the Chinese instruments combined, which is not something you generally hear.”
Shen Yun Performing Arts Orchestra blends the usually disparate sounds of East and West. “This is how the effect is achieved: A Western philharmonic orchestra plays the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies,” explains the website.
Ms. Owen said she learned much about Chinese culture, particularly its connection to the divine.
According to Shen Yun’s website: “China was once known as Shen Zhou—The Divine Land. This profound name describes a land where deities and mortals coexisted, and a belief that the divine transmitted a rich culture to the people of the Earth.
“For thousands of years, Buddhist, Taoist, and other disciplines were at the heart of society. Calligraphy, music, medicine, attire, and much more were said to have been passed down from the heavens.”
This culture was nearly lost under the communist regime, which has sought to abolish traditional values. To this day, Shen Yun cannot be seen in China, though it spreads the ancient culture through the rest of the world.
“It was very enlightening,” Ms. Owen said. “All told, a very unique experience.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Tara MacIsaac
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit Shen Yun Performing Arts.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.