Music Instructor: Shen Yun’s Artistry Is ‘High Caliber’

April 14, 2019

PORTLAND—After music instructor Kurt Harbaugh experienced Shen Yun Performing Arts for the first time, he thought, the experience can really change people’s lives.

“The whole show… is truly amazing, [like] what the review said, this is an experience that really can change people’s lives,” Harbaugh said. “[That is shown in] the beauty of the dancing, the culture that is from abroad, from China, your impression of what Chinese people have to go through.”

New York-based Shen Yun brings audience members on a journey through China’s 5,000 years of civilization and history with a mission to bring back the culture and values to the modern world. Harbaugh, who teaches music at the Lower Columbia College, saw Shen Yun at the Keller Auditorium in Portland, Oregon, on April 13.

He particularly liked the music, applauding the orchestra for producing “beautiful sounds.”

“I think it’s really good. I really like this theatrical part of the music as well as the musicians that are playing the music behind,” Harbaugh said.

“There are some beautiful sounds that I don’t even know what they are, but very beautiful,” he said.

Shen Yun’s dancing is accompanied by a live orchestra that blends Eastern and Western classical instruments to produce a distinct yet harmonious sound.

In an interview with Shen Yun composer Junyi Tan, Tan explained: “In arranging the music, I’m mostly employing Western arrangement techniques. But, at the same time, the composition and the feel of the melody must match the unique attributes of Chinese music.”

“Shen Yun’s dance revolves around classical Chinese dance and ethnic dances, and the music is tailored to the dances. As we write the music for different dance numbers, we need to fully appraise how to best echo the local traits and flavor,” Tan added.

Harbaugh said he could appreciate how the orchestra was meticulously balanced with the dancing.

“I‘m trying to hear mistakes and I cannot hear any. It sounds very well blended. The blend and the balance of the orchestra with the dancing are fantastic,” Harbaugh said. “They are thoroughly professional.”

Harbaugh said he was grateful for the opportunity to see a performance of such high caliber.

“It just makes me feel grateful to be in America, to say that we have that expression and we can go on communicating with audiences in this manner. I plan several groups and we do this all the time but not to this caliber. This is high caliber,” he said.

With reporting by Sherry Dong.

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.

Portland, United States
Shen Yun North America Company