“I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end,” said classical pianist Marina Petrov. “It was something amazing.”
Shen Yun, based in New York, tours around the world each year reviving the 5,000-year-old, divinely inspired Chinese culture, according to the company’s website. Communist rule in China nearly destroyed this culture, as well as its values such as benevolence, wisdom, and sincerity.
Ms. Petrov grew up as a child prodigy in the former Yugoslavia, and has developed into a renowned performer, lecturer, and professor. She greatly enjoyed the Shen Yun Orchestra, which deftly melds both classical Western and Chinese instruments.
“It’s absolutely lovely,” she said. “I think the performances from the music side, and the voices as well, they were absolutely brilliant, so the whole [performance] was very, very interesting, and a very high level.”
The Chinese instruments include the gong, as well as two 4,000-year-old instruments, the pipa and erhu.
Ms. Petrov is familiar with Chinese music yet still found the Shen Yun Orchestra intriguing. “It’s a very interesting timbre,” she said. “I love it, I just love it.”
The orchestra plays while classical Chinese dance, along with ethnic and folk dance, is performed on stage. Adorned in colourful, handmade costumes, the dancers are also accompanied by a digital backdrop transporting the audience through space—across the vast land of China—and through time—from the dawn of civilization 5,000 years ago up to modern China.
Snowflakes Welcoming Spring caught Ms. Petrov’s attention. Shen Yun’s programme describes the dance: “Snowflakes gather for a final farewell before warmer days. Dancers take small, quick steps through snowy fields as they skilfully spin and twirl sequined handkerchiefs. They delight and dazzle the eye in this northeastern folk dance. In the end, the snow finally melts to reveal winter’s parting gift: the birth of spring.”
Ms. Petrov left the performance delighted. “Within it you have so many different things, and it was just beautiful, what can I say!”
Reporting by Shaoying and Zack Stieber.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts International Company will next perform in Chicago at the Civic Opera House, April 19-22.
For more information visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org