OTTAWA, Canada—“For me as a musician, to have live music is a privilege,” said Carlos L. Santana after attending Shen Yun Performing Arts’ second full-house performance at the National Arts Centre in the nation’s capital on a frigid Friday evening.
Mr. Santana came to Canada from Mexico 16 years ago, and was accompanied by his wife Luz Patricia and two daughters Luz Victoria, 12, and Anna-Lucia, 8, at the NAC.
Not to be confused with the famous rock guitarist, Mr. Santana has been a pianist from a very young age.
“I have been playing since I was a child. I compose, and I play different events in town here and there—festivals, jazz festivals, and all that,” he said.
He said it was his first time seeing the acclaimed show that celebrates the true, traditional Chinese culture.
“For me it is my first time here and I really enjoyed it. I think it’s very interesting.”
Mr. Santana particularly liked the live orchestral music. “I really appreciate that they are professionals. They are very skilled people. I really enjoyed them,” he said after the show.
The Shen Yun Orchestra combines traditional Western and Chinese instruments (such as the pipa, erhu, and suona) to create a unique and refreshing sound. Playing all original compositions, the orchestra achieves its effect with a Western philharmonic orchestra playing the foundation, while traditional Chinese instruments lead the melodies.
The show also included three Chinese opera performances and a solo erhu performance among its 20 presentations. The erhu is a two-stringed instrument known for its mournful, haunting sound.
Mr. Santana also praised “the combination of the dances with the graphical background,” referring to the state-of-the-art graphics technology Shen Yun’s digital backdrops uses to create vividly animated settings.
They complement and synchronize all aspects of the performance, including the characters, colours, dance movements, storyline, and musical notes, and extend the stage to transport viewers to spectacular landscapes and even heavenly realms.
China’s 5,000 years of divinely inspired culture also impressed Mr. Santana in that he felt it should not be forgotten or lost.
Due to decades of communist rule in China having mostly destroyed the traditional Chinese culture, Shen Yun has a mission to revive the ancient traditions by taking audiences on a journey through the Middle Kingdom’s long and rich history.
“You cannot forget the past,” Mr. Santana said.
Mrs. Santana mentioned that both their daughters are interested in the arts and that Shen Yun provides a suitable means to learn about Chinese culture.
“We really want them to learn the Chinese culture and it was good,” Mrs. Santana said.
Mr. Santana, an electrical engineer by trade, currently works in information technology management for Canadian Bank Note Company Limited.
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.