WASHINGTON—Cellist and music lecturer Julia Goudimova was captivated by the sweet sound flowing from the orchestra pit when she went to see Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“I loved the music. I heard the cello solo and the other instruments playing. I really enjoyed it and I looked to the orchestra after it finished to see who was performing and liked seeing the Western and Chinese instruments, so it’s quite accessible,” said Goudimova, who saw Shen Yun perform at The Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington on April 20.
New York-based Shen Yun tours the world annually, performing in renown theaters in sold-out shows with the mission to bring back genuine traditional Chinese culture. It brings audience members through China’s 5,000 years of civilization and history using classical Chinese dance as a foundation, but also incorporates ethnic and folk dances from regions in China.
The performances are accompanied by a unique orchestra that blends Chinese and Western musical instruments to create a distinct yet harmonious sound.
According to one of Shen Yun’s composers, Junyi Tan, the blending of two great musical traditions while presenting a unified theme is a special feature of the orchestra.
“In arranging the music, I’m mostly employing Western arrangement techniques. But, at the same time, the composition and the feel of the melody must match the unique attributes of Chinese music,” Tan said in a previous interview.
“As we write the music for different dance numbers, we need to fully appraise how to best echo the local traits and flavor. To get the ethnic style and characteristics just right, there’s nothing better than using Chinese instruments like the erhu, pipa, and so on.”
This aspect of Shen Yun was something Goudimova said she appreciated greatly.
“I think it’s an absolutely beautiful combination. I think the musician and the composers are doing a really good job intermingling this—[the] two worlds [of] West and East. I think we all enjoy this experience as audience members,” she said.
Goudimova is a talented musician herself. Born in Moscow, she began studying piano at the age of five and cello at the age of seven. She received her music education at Tiraspol College of Music and her master’s degree from Belarus Academy of Music. She has performed in numerous recitals and chamber music concerts in Belarus, Moldova, Germany, South Korea, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia, according to her Washington and Lee University profile.
She is currently the principal cellist of the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra and a cello instructor at Washington and Lee University and Southern Virginia University.
Along with the music, Goudimova also applauded the dancers for their ability to express emotion through their movements.
“I think incorporating emotions with when you look at the dancers. Their faces are quite still and very elegant and at the same time, you can tell what emotions are underneath because of the music and because of the movements of the body,” she said. “It’s just an interesting experience to watch them.”
With reporting by NTD Television.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.