BURLINGTON, Vt.—The audience at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts gave three standing ovations to the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra matinee in Burlington on Oct. 4, and it was still not enough, said art teacher Suki Ciappara.
“We could’ve gone for more. Absolutely lovely, beautiful,” Ms. Ciappara said approvingly, to which her friend Marianne Goodman agreed emphatically.
“It was wonderful, believe me,” said Ms. Goodman, who attends everything at the Flynn Center and has been a donator to symphony orchestras in Vermont for ages. “I’m just shaking, it was so wonderful. I didn’t want it to stop.”
It was a piece showcasing three erhu players along with a full Western symphony orchestra Ms. Goodman was referring to.
The erhu is known for being an especially evocative instrument capable of depicting a wide range of emotion. In “All for Today,” originally written as a vocal piece for baritone and piano, the two-stringed instrument demonstrates lively pizzicato and optimism, hopefulness, and newfound majesty.
“It was very inspiring,” Ms. Ciappara said. “I was having all sorts of dreams and seeing different things in my mind as the music was playing, it was very lovely, very inspiring.”
Inspiration is a common theme with audience members, and perhaps the reason lies in Shen Yun’s philosophy.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun was created by artists who came together from across the world to revive traditional Chinese culture, which is said to be inspired by the heavens. The company name can be translated as “the beauty of divine beings dancing,” according to the program, and the company’s music seeks to achieve “an experience so profoundly beautiful and joyful that it evokes a sense of the heavens.”
“It was wonderful, sublime, amazing, inspirational, and I’ve never heard anything like it,” said Kay Trudell, a retired high school teacher.
“It was so melodic and beautiful, and I just listened to it and was so at peace,” said Lori Dow-Moore, a Spanish and French high school teacher.
The interesting cultural experience was one Ms. Dow-Moore said she was excited to share with her class, and her family, she said. “It was just stunning.”
The concert also seemed to impress across ages.
“I liked it a lot,” said 11-year-old Nate Sarnow. Nate, who plays violin himself, was impressed with the speed of violinist Fiona Zhang’s solo “Gypsy Airs” by Pablo de Sarasate.
“Makes him feel like he has to practice a little bit more,” his father Mark Sarnow said. He was impressed himself, with the representation of traditional China, the technique of the musicians.
“It’s exceptional,” he said.
Reporting by Catherine Yang and NTD Television.
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony