Composer Inspired by Shen Yun’s East-West Blend of Music

January 18, 2020

LONDON, U.K.—Music feeds the soul and is a universal language that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life, the world over. Music’s power is a large part of why Shen Yun Performing Arts has become a global phenomenon, and it’s what composer and pianist Farnoosh Behzad found to be “quite astonishing” about the London performance at the Eventim Apollo on Jan. 18, 2020.

“It’s lovely. I think it’s very nicely composed. Very synchronized. The music is very accessible and well-orchestrated. It’s lovely, and altogether it’s very vibrant and happy, energetic music which I like very much,” Behzad said, adding that he felt the whole show was entertaining and educational.

“The music accompanies quite nicely—sometimes in service of the dances, sometimes on its own. It’s quite astonishing,” he said.

“I loved the fact that traditional instruments of China, of that part of the world, are used. The combination of the orchestration is lovely … quite nice. West and East are both playing a part. A Westernized orchestra and traditional music together—that’s used very nicely and wisely,” Behzad said.

Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional China’s 5,000-year-old culture through the arts and share it with the world. In doing this, it sends a full, live-orchestra to accompany each of its seven touring groups around the world. Its original music is composed anew each year by the company’s artistic director especially for the unique combination of Western and Eastern instruments in its orchestras.

Behzad said Shen Yun inspired him to possibly create a new composition.

“It made me think maybe I’ll [compose] something on a smaller scale, on the same line maybe, yes. Definitely, I have been inspired.”

The ancient artistic traditions that Shen Yun seeks to revive were given to mankind by divine beings, according to Chinese beliefs. That’s why Shen Yun depicts divine beings and themes in its storytelling dances.

These traditions shown on stage captivated Behzad. “From the moment it started, I was so alert. I was just listening to everything and I wanted to observe everything, you know, just take everything in.”

The spiritual aspects of the show were “carried on quite nicely,” he felt. “That beauty … was really carried on through the dancing and the message was coming out of the dancing and music all together.”

Behzad felt the message of the show was “to be a better person, a better human; to be more a part of the world and to exercise.”

“This message was very much like the old days when, organically, everyone lived together and they contributed so much to their environment and everything. … The tolerance that today needs, for modern life. Definitely you are reminded [of that] in this performance and it makes a difference. It makes you think,” he said.

Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s curtain call at London’s Eventim Apollo on Jan. 18, 2020. (NTD Television)

Behzad said he would recommend Shen Yun wholeheartedly.

“Before anything else, I think it’s entertainment for the eyes. I think I got my money’s worth. The background [using digital] projections, dancing, music, they sync together, that combination. That’s all very entertaining. Makes you think that no matter what culture you come from, maybe you can think it’s exactly the same sort of … brings the same sort of mentality into your culture, or think it over and share it with others. I definitely recommend it to others.”

With reporting by NTD Television and Brett Featherstone.

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.

London, Europe
Shen Yun International Company