NEW YORK—Seeing Shen Yun’s performance inspired Mehmet Gulay, vice president of the Gulaylar Group.
“The music was fantastic, and then the costumes were excellent,” Mr. Gulay said after seeing the performance Saturday afternoon at the David H. Koch Theater in New York.
Mr. Gulay, who runs a jewelry shopping mall at the International Gem Tower on 47th Street in Manhattan, was particularly moved by the mix of instruments that accompanied the classical Chinese dance. “I heard instruments, some for the first time today, and it was a very eye-opening experience for me.”
The Shen Yun Orchestra combines the spirit, beauty, and distinctiveness of Chinese music with the precision, power, and grandeur of the Western symphony orchestra, according to the Shen Yun website. The result is two great traditions producing one refreshing sound.
Among the unique Chinese instruments featured in the performance are the erhu and the pipa.
The two-stringed erhu, played vertically with a bamboo bow, dates back some 4,000 years and was an integral part of folk performances, operas, and imperial banquets throughout the dynasties.
Meanwhile the pipa, or Chinese lute, has reigned as the “king” of Chinese folk instruments for thousands of years. The pipa gained its regal title from its wide array of playing techniques, expressive depth, and dominance in both folk music and legend. Its pear-shaped body features four strings—which represent the four seasons.
“It was a very nice experience,” said Mr. Gulay, who plans on seeing it again next year. Every year, New York-based Shen Yun travels the world with a new performance, so it’s a new experience each time.
Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in 2006 in New York with the mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, much of which has been lost under communist rule in China.
“You get to see a part of Chinese culture that you don’t get to see everyday,” said Mr. Gulay. “Seeing this affection of Chinese culture, 5,000 years of history, in front of me in two hours, was very nice.”
Since its inception, Shen Yun has become a global phenomenon, with its four companies performing in over 100 cities in 20 countries each year.
At the core of Shen Yun’s performances is classical Chinese dance performed by some of the world’s leading classical Chinese dancers. Also included are ethnic and folk dances from some of China’s 50-plus ethnic cultures.
“Seeing the different areas of China, different cultures, through these dances, through these performances, they were very nice.”
Reporting by Sherry Dong and Dave Martin
New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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.