Boston Musicians See the ‘Universality of Humanity’ in Shen Yun

BOSTON—Home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New England Conservatory and the Berklee College of Music, Boston has a deep appreciation for classical music and a rich musical tradition. It’s no surprise then that Bostonians braved a swirling winter storm to welcome Shen Yun Performing Arts to the historic Boston Opera House for a five-show run Jan. 23–25, 2015.

Katherine Acosta, a Boston native, and now a student of musical theater at New Jersey City University, admired the “seamless” blend of music, dance and feeling.

The dancing so graceful. The women—it was like they were walking on air.
— Katherine Acosta
“The dancing so graceful. The women—it was like they were walking on air. It was so beautiful,” she said.

She saw in Shen Yun the embodiment of concepts she has been studying, “We talk about word painting. We talk about how the music sometimes describes the art. It was just wonderful the way the music painted the scenario. The music painted the emotion,” she said.

Ms. Acosta attended the performance with her mother, Virdania Miiwaya, who said the show was like time travel. “A masterpiece. Indescribable. They transport you to the dynasty and then bring you back,” she said.

‘So inspiring and fulfilling’

“The artistry was so inspiring and fulfilling,” violinist Pauline Rowe said of the performance.

Ms. Rowe began studying violin at age 10 and has performed with the Boston Philharmonic and the Vermont Symphony. She now seeks to inspire young violinists as a teacher at her private studio, South Shore Suzuki Strings.

Shen Yun Performing Arts presents classical Chinese dance accompanied by a live Western orchestra that features classical Chinese instruments. It is the “perfect blend of East and West,” according to the program book.

Violinist and educator Pauline Rowe after seeing Shen Yun at the Boston Opera House, on Jan. 25, 2015, in Boston Mass. (Stacy Chen/Epoch Times)
Violinist and educator Pauline Rowe after seeing Shen Yun at the Boston Opera House, on Jan. 25, 2015, in Boston Mass. (Stacy Chen/Epoch Times)

As a violinist, Ms. Rowe was particularly touched by the “soulfulness” of the erhu soloist. The erhu is a two-stringed classical Chinese instrument known for its ability to evoke deep emotions, mimic the human voice, and even the sounds of birds and horses.

I felt a sense of the universality of our humanity.
— violinist Pauline Rowe
“I felt a sense of the universality of our humanity,” she said. “Wherever we are coming from we can share similar stories. We can share similar joys, similar struggles. There is nothing like art to say, we are all human. Let us share and celebrate the diversity and unite in our humanity.”

Contemporary composer Davide Ianni was likewise impressed by the fullness of the orchestral sound. Mr. Ianni’s latest work, “Orme d’ombre,” recently premiered at Brown Hall at the New England Conservatory. He attended the performance with his wife Erin Ianni and their two daughters Lavinia (age 6) and Elena (age 5) at the urging of Cristian Cimei, a childhood friend and current conductor for the Shen Yun Orchestra.

“We come from same town in Italy,” Mr. Ianni said. “It is a small world.”

Ms. Ianni felt Shen Yun was a chance for her daughters to experience another culture.

“They were completely mesmerized, they didn’t [make a] peep,” she said adding that both girls take ballet.

Shen Yun’s productions draw inspiration from China’s 5,000 years of civilization. Shen Yun features classical, folk and ethnic dances as well as dance stories that bring to life ancient myths and legends as well as current events in China.

“I am sure they are going to reenact [the show] at home,” Mr. Ianni added, laughing.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org.

Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reaction since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

, Boston, United States
Shen Yun New York Company