Musician Lauds Shen Yun’s Fusion of Musical Styles

NEW YORK—Shen Yun Performing Arts wowed theatergoers when it performed in New York City’s Lincoln Center on Wednesday evening. The audience gave the company a standing ovation at the end of the performance.

Todd McKinney, a folk and rock ‘n roll musician and song writer, said that he was impressed with Shen Yun’s musical elements, which combine classical Western and traditional Chinese instruments.

“I think it’s really, really good,” he said.

The music provides the background score for each of Shen Yun’s dance pieces.

“The sound produced is uniquely pleasing to the ear,” the company’s website states. “The ensemble at once expresses both the grandeur of a Western orchestra and the distinct sensibilities of China’s 5,000-year-old civilization.”

“I love it,” said Mr. McKinney, referring to the music. “I’ve actually been watching the trombone player a lot.”

The Western classical music serves as the foundation, while the Chinese instruments lead. Some of the Chinese instruments are the two-stringed erhu, gongs, and the multi-stringed pipa.

“Those are very cool,” Mr. McKinney said about the unique Chinese instruments, adding that he was particularly struck by the erhu.

A two-stringed violin, the erhu has a history of thousands of years.

Chinese classical dance is the focal point of Shen Yun and is used to convey the inner meanings of Chinese culture and values, according to the company’s website. The dance is said to be thousands of years old and has its own systematic training, including bearing, forms, and flips.

Overall, Mr. McKinney said it was a really nice performance.

Peter Phaneuf, a senior director of IT at Canon, also lauded Shen Yun.

He was particularly struck by the company’s interactive and colorful backdrop, which is digitally projected in the back screen behind the dancers.

“When you looked at the film … they were right smack on” with the integration of dance and the colorful backdrop, he said.

The storytelling of Shen Yun—myths and legends are the subject of many of the dance pieces—also stood out for him.

Reporting by Amelia Pang and Jack Phillips

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

Shen Yun Performing Arts is performing at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center through April 28.

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.