Former Resident Conductor: Shen Yun ‘Deserves its Reputation’
TAOYUAN, Taiwan—Former resident conductor and music director of the Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Felix Chiu-sen Chen, attended Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s 2014 premiere in Taoyuan on March 21. After seeing the show, he said, “I was truly amazed by the staging techniques and the overall performance. It deserves its reputation. It’s indeed amazing.
“I marveled at their performance, in particular, the stage effect. I’d like to introduce a lot of people working with Western opera to see the show. If those techniques can be applied to opera, the effect (of opera) would be even better. They (Shen Yun) have done an amazingly good job. It’s very vivid, realistic and lifelike. I’ve often heard praises of Shen Yun. Seeing the performance today, I feel it really deserves its reputation,” he said.
Mr. Chen majored in Western music, so the music he learned in the past was completely different from what the Shen Yun Orchestra played. “I do know that they blend Western symphony with traditional Chinese music, but the effect turns out to be perfect. In fact, most of the audience—I found that they were really into it.”
Captivated by Shen Yun’s high-tech animated digital backdrops, he said in excitement, “In particular, the cinema-like effect of the stage (dynamic backdrops) is excellent. They (actors) seemed to be from heaven, as they looked like descending to the earth from celestial realms, and then ascending back to heaven. They (the scenes) looked so vivid and lifelike.”
“Actually, I think the producers of various performing arts groups, such as Western opera, Peking Opera, Taiwanese opera, etc. should come to see the performance, because its (Shen Yun’s) techniques are really very wonderful. They may gain many new ideas from it, especially some creative ideas on stage effects.”
Mr. Chen was involved with Western opera for about 20 years in the past. Many stage effects that he failed to break-through were achieved by Shen Yun, he said.
“I’ll introduce some people involved with Western music and Western opera to see the show for the staging techniques and the cinema-like (digital) backdrops. If they can be applied to Western opera, it would be more vivid and wonderful.”
Shen Yun is ‘Perfection’
Seeing Shen Yun for a third time, Fu Jen Catholic University’s Music Professor Lian-Chang Guo praised the magnificent performance as “amazing.”
“Music is a common language of the world. Shen Yun’s blending Chinese and Western musical instruments is remarkable. Nowadays, cultural exchange between the East and the West is nothing uncommon, but Shen Yun may be the only troupe that promotes (culture) with the foundation of the 5,000 years of tradition.
“This is my third time to watch the Shen Yun show. The special (stage) effect this year is at its peak of perfection. It’s amazingly good.”
Being well-known in conducting Chinese and Western orchestras, Mr. Guo can well be called a maestro. Amazed by the energy from Shen Yun orchestra composed of Chinese and Western music instruments, he said, “Shen Yun’s energy is from (performers’) hearts. Especially, with the combination of music and dance, its energy is invisible, and can inspire a human’s heart. This is why I often say that music can have educational effects.”
He said that nowadays it’s not right to say that anything with five notes is Chinese music. “Music is invisible. For composers or arrangers, their goal is to create the music that can touch people’s hearts.
“It (Shen Yun) is a comprehensive art, including dance and music. But music plays an important role. Because I majored in music, (I know) that if music was taken out of it, almost nothing would be left. As a result, music has educational functions. In addition to a dancers’ performance, of course, there should be music in it, as the finishing touch is very important,” he added.
Teaching at Fu Jen Catholic University for nearly three decades, Mr. Guo has cultivated many excellent musicians. He said that he was pleased to see many outstanding students join Shen Yun Performing Arts. He expressed that Shen Yun was a very good place for them to explore their talents, and he would like to wish Shen Yun great success all over the world.
Reporting by Huang Caiwen, Li Fangru and Bill Xu
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.
The 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