TEMPE, Ariz.—Former professional musicians Solitaire and Brandi Parke took in the sights and sounds of Shen Yun Performing Arts at the ASU Gammage Theater for the March 8 afternoon show. Both of them loved the music.
“Superb. Absolutely superb. Everybody. Everyone. Couldn’t get any better,” said Mr. Parke, with emphasis, about the music of Shen Yun.
Shen Yun brings to life China’s 5,000 years of culture through Chinese dance and music, portraying tales and legends from China’s traditional culture.
“I think that was the best part for me,” he said about the Shen Yun Orchestra, which blends both Chinese and Western instrumentation. “I wish I could have climbed over the walls so I could watch them.”
Mr. Parke, who was the guitarist in the band Star Child, now works as an author and designer. Mrs. Parke was the lead singer in Star Child.
“I thought it was absolutely stunning,” said Mrs. Parke. “The musicianship I thought was fabulous.”
The Shen Yun website describes the orchestra: “The Shen Yun Orchestra masterfully blends two of the world’s greatest classical music traditions. Ancient Chinese instruments such as the soul-stirring erhu and the delicate pipa lead the melody on top of a full orchestra of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The Western orchestra with its energy and grandeur, and the Chinese instruments with their distinct tones and styles, create a dramatic new sound.”
“You could tell that everybody down there was putting their heart and soul into it,” said Mr. Parke.
In addition to the orchestra, there are solo vocal performances. The songs are sung in Chinese, but using the bel canto technique.
“It was beautiful,” said Mrs. Parke of one of the sopranos. “She was just spot on.”
“Very heartfelt and it was just gorgeous,” she continued.
The heart of the show is the dance pieces, each lasting no longer than 10 minutes, telling stories from Chinese culture, from the ancient past to today.
“I really enjoyed that. I thought they did a fabulous job telling the stories, and the costumes—everything—just really lent itself to telling the story and they were beautiful,” said Mrs. Parke.
Beyond the stories, the dancing moved her as well. “I thought the dancing itself was just absolutely stunning,” she said. “The precision was right on—they couldn’t have been better dancers.”
With reporting by Albert Roman and Ben Bendig
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.