Master of Erhu Fiddle: Shen Yun Exhibits Diversified, Changing Beauty

April 22, 2011 Updated: October 1, 2015

Mr. Xiao Baiyong, a performer of the erhu fiddle, at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Taipei. (Li Xianzhen/The Epoch Times)
Mr. Xiao Baiyong, a performer of the erhu fiddle, at Shen Yun Performing Arts in Taipei. (Li Xianzhen/The Epoch Times)
TAIPEI, Taiwan—Mr. Xiao Baiyong, a famous erhu fiddle performing master, watched Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company’s show on April 19. Mr. Xiao, a Class I Actor of China who is also reputed as one of the two contemporary masters of erhu performance, admired the diversified, changing beauty revealed in Shen Yun’s breathtaking programs.

Mr. Xiao said, “The Shen Yun performance incorporates various changes, making it rich and colorful. Every program is not long, but the choreography is outstanding. In addition to the variety in styles, a similar abundance of variation is also found in the contents. The interleaving of the programs exhibits clear contrast—a dynamic, powerful program follows a slow, graceful program and vice versa. The artistic presentation covers various elements, including dancing, singing solos and music. The diversity is great as the freshness keeps the audience attentive. Such an artistic presentation is rarely seen today.”

In addition to his erhu performing expertise, Mr. Xiao is also interested in the visual arts, such as painting. He commented that the overall setting of the Shen Yun performance is “beautiful.”

“The dances are exquisite. Two programs, Min Nan Grace and Cloud Maidens, are very beautiful. The composition, the scene, the coloring, the costumes … Every aspect is beautiful. The arts need to be beautiful!”

“Shen Yun's performers' basic training is very solid. The choreography exhibits constant changes. The performers may disperse at one time or gather up at another. It is so skillful that the show blends well static and dynamic characters. I think the dances exhibit picturesque sensation, and the music expresses the internal feeling,” he said.

Mr. Xiao, who has achieved a premier position in the field of traditional Chinese music, praised the orchestral erhu performance in the program No Regrets for being extremely touching. He also admitted that the hardest part of music performance is to interpret the charms. He explained, “It is very challenging to illustrate ‘charm.’ Shen Yun’s programs have many variations. They certainly live up to their name ‘divine charm.’”

Mr. Xiao has established quite a reputation and became a well-known figure at an early age. He had a unique perception of the lyrics of Shen Yun’s solo vocalists. He said he has long become indifferent to fame and wealth, and said sincerely with a sigh, “In our trade, how you envision fame and wealth makes a big difference. If you think highly of fame and wealth, there is no way that you can reach the consummate level. I earned my name when I was young, at age 21 or 22. On the contrary, I rarely stage a performance now.”

Mr. Xiao was grateful that Shen Yun’s worldwide touring performance had brought the authentic Chinese culture to the general public of a society in which most people are pursuing fame and wealth. He said, “The full-house audience enjoyed the show and applauded enthusiastically. It is really great that people can see so many things about the Chinese culture. Shen Yun is really an excellent performance.”

Reporting by Li Yuan.

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org