LOS ANGELES—Shen Yun Performing Arts has captured the world’s hearts since the company began in 2006, reviving China’s true, divinely-inspired 5,000-year culture through stunning music and dance performances. It has also been attended by many repeat visitors.
On Sunday, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning musician, producer, and former child actor, Craig Huxley, watched Shen Yun Performing Arts for the second time with his daughter Fiona Huxley, a singer and actress, at the Microsoft Theater.
“We just really loved the performance,” said Mr. Huxley. “I’m glad to see that the traditional values are being supported here, an ancient wisdom.”
Fiona Huxley has been learning Mandarin for two years at UCLA, and she just published her first children’s book in Chinese about elephant conservation. She also appreciated Shen Yun’s celebration of traditional Chinese culture.
“It was really fun to see it again,” she said. “It’s great to see different perspectives and all people coming together.”
Shen Yun recreates ancient myths and legends, modern heroic tales, and celebrates different ethnic groups of China through a series of dance vignettes. Shen Yun’s unique live orchestra combines both Eastern and Western sounds to accompany the dances, while colorful costumes, vibrant backdrops, and musical soloists enrich the experience.
Traditional Chinese values and customs, such as respect for the heavens, benevolence, justice, and divine retribution for one’s actions, which have been nearly lost within China itself under decades of communist rule, are naturally imbued in Shen Yun’s performances.
As a musician, Mr. Huxley loved Shen Yun’s integration of traditional Chinese instruments with a classical Western orchestra. He has also combined countless instruments and sounds for his work in movie scores, many of which use his own patented instrumental design called the Blaster Beam. This 18-foot-long metal instrument produces deep, other-worldly sounds in the soundtracks of several Star Trek movies and other films such as “Dreamscape,” “2010,” and “10 Cloverfield Lane,” which is in theaters now.
Mr. Huxley also very much enjoyed Shen Yun’s pianist, who played a beautiful concert grand piano. Mr. Huxley himself is a pianist.
But his most memorable part of the performance was the two-stringed erhu, a Chinese instrument with a history of thousands of years. It is said that the erhu resembles the two vocal chords of the human voice, giving it an evocative, intensely expressive sound.
The solo performance, titled “Divine Elegance,” was performed by erhu master Xiaochun Qi, who has been playing the instrument since the age of 6. Qi was taught by her father, also an erhu player, who practiced with her outdoors every night, regardless of the weather.
“It’s so evocative of an ancient time,” said Mr. Huxley about the erhu. “I love that.”
Shen Yun’s dancing was also exciting for both Mr. Huxley and his daughter, who loves to sing and dance. The talent and flexibility of the dancers were impressive to Mr. Huxley, who said Hollywood uses so much CGI nowadays, it’s rare to see such incredible human skill.
“To see the real thing, real human [training], I like that,” he said.
“It really brings to life the visuals and the music together, [creating] something really special,” said Ms. Huxley.
Ms. Huxley said she had a wonderful time at Shen Yun, and she answered several questions in Chinese, which she said she is enjoying being able to learn.
“I think it’s a beautiful language. It’s very interesting, and I really enjoyed the performance and the beautiful erhu, listening to that, and seeing the wonderful colors.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Sarah Le
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.
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.