Film Composer Impressed With Shen Yun’s Storytelling

March 27, 2023 ShareSHARE

VANCOUVER, Canada—Whether on stage or on screen, recreating a scene from history is no easy task. Christopher Xiao is a composer in the film industry, and he understands that Shen Yun Performing Arts is doing a noble task in reviving traditional Chinese culture through the arts.

“I think it’s about time somebody out there makes an effort to try and revitalize and keep what’s going on in Chinese culture. And it’s really nice to watch them retell some of the classic stories that inspired me as a child [and] infused me with traditional Chinese values. So, I think it was an excellent show,” said Mr. Xiao.

As someone who understands filmmaking and its complications, Mr. Xiao complimented Shen Yun‘s clean and concise storytelling.

“It’s a very impressive stagecraft given the limitations that they have,” he said.

“I think the simplification is very poignant, and I think it gets to the core of the story. I know most of these stories growing up, so I think it’s very well done,” he added.

Shen Yun’s stories come from Chinese literature, mythology, and history. Each story has its reason for being recorded, but to include all the details would dampen the moral of the story. Shen Yun cleverly chooses how best to tell each story.

“A lot of the stories that they’re trying to tell can be very complex,” commented Mr. Xiao.

“The fact that they’re able to get to the point of the story without making it so diluted and so convoluted for people to get to,” he added.

Since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006, the Chinese communist party has been using different tactics to disrupt Shen Yun’s performances in different cities and theaters.

Having seen and heard of these attempts to ruin Shen Yun’s performances, Mr. Xiao was even more motivated to see Shen Yun.

“I’m kind of a curious person,” said Mr. Xiao.

“Shen Yun gets a lot of bad rap from the Communist Party, so I wanted to investigate and see for myself if a lot of that bad rap is founded or unfounded,” he continued.

“I think the unfounded attack on the show itself is nothing but a showcase of jealousy and small man behavior,” he added.

Shen Yun is based in New York and its orchestra is the only one in the world that has traditional Chinese instruments as permanent members of its classic Western orchestra.

“I have a background in film scoring and music composition as well. I work with orchestras on a regular basis. So it’s nice to see. Not only is it just great to have a live orchestra present, but the music itself was scored and composed masterfully and beautifully,” complimented Mr. Xiao.

Shen Yun’s music is all composed by its resident composers. These composers work closely with Shen Yun’s choreographers to create seamless works for audiences.

“It uses a lot of Chinese instruments that [are] compounded with Western instruments and creates a beautiful texture and musical color,” said Mr. Xiao.

Chinese culture is infused with spirituality. This belief in the divine inspires good morals and upholds traditional values.

“You have shared fundamental values with the Western culture,” said Mr. Xiao.

“I think it’s something that I would buy tickets for my friends. Especially anybody who has any sort of fundamental moral principles and religious beliefs. I think it can connect across cultures because you have a central message to tell,” he said.

Reporting by Ryan Moffatt and Maria Han.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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