NORTHRIDGE, Calif.—For Joao Junqueira, a music professor at College of the Canyons, music fills his soul, enriches him emotionally, and connects him with other beings.
On Tuesday, April 19, Shen Yun Performing Arts provided all this and more for Mr. Junqueira and his wife Claudia, at the Valley Performing Arts Center.
“It’s beautiful music,” said Mr. Junqueira. “The dances are all very beautiful, very well choreographed, and the images are very peaceful, and it relaxes us.”
“We really appreciate this show,” said Mrs. Junqueira, who is also a professor at College of the Canyons and teaches Spanish. “It’s music that fills your inner being.”
Mr. Junqueira teaches his students about music from all over the world, including China, and he loves Chinese instruments. He lectures on the pipa and the erhu, two traditional Chinese musical instruments that are included in Shen Yun’s unique orchestra.
This music accompanies Shen Yun’s classically-trained dancers through a tour of China’s 5,000-year history, reviving a divinely-inspired culture that has been nearly lost within China itself.
“So many beautiful things come from China. It’s just a shame that they cannot play this kind of music in China,” said Mr. Junqueira. “I’m very glad this art form is being celebrated again, is being performed, because it almost became extinct with the … situation in China.”
Born and raised in Brazil, Mr. Junqueira specializes in composing and performing the traditional music of his culture, including Samba and Bossa Nova. He has released four CDs of his original music.
With his background in the performing arts, he noticed the intense preparation and coordination that goes into each Shen Yun performance, along with the precision required by the dancers, who often perform the same moves in unison as a large group.
“The dancers are amazing,” he said. “They literally float on the stage … They dance so lightly.”
Mrs. Junqueira spoke fondly of Shen Yun’s vocal soloist Qu Yue, who sings “What You are Here For.” She said he sang with such emotion, and the lyrics, projected in English on the backdrop, were very touching and spiritual.
“Everything else—the dances, the choreography—this is beautiful, this is perfect,” she said. “Fulfilling.”
The couple were very glad to have a chance to see Shen Yun in the San Fernando Valley.
Shen Yun Inspires Hope, Love, Peace
Alla Plotkin, a piano teacher and accompanist at Santa Monica College who is originally from Russia, also enjoyed the Shen Yun performance in Northridge.
“It’s a very well-organized show,” she said. “I like the costumes, I enjoyed the orchestra, I enjoyed the musicians, the pianist was gorgeous, and she was accompanying perfectly to the vocalists. And most of all, I like the idea to show the history of China. It’s very well done.”
Ms. Plotkin said the orchestra played beautifully, with the strength of a hundred musicians, although she saw less than half that number in the orchestra pit.
Of course Shen Yun’s vocalists and their accompanist were very touching for Ms. Plotkin, as a pianist herself. She also adored the dancers’ colorful costumes.
And she felt a spiritual element in the performance. “The show is about hope, about beauty, about brotherhood in the world, about love,” she said. “Love and peace.”
But again, she loved, loved the preservation of China’s history on stage, especially for people who don’t know very much about the East, saying it helped create a kind of brotherhood among people of the world.
“I’m so happy that I’m here,” she said. “Wonderful music, beautiful performances of all the dancers, incredible orchestra [and] its conductor.”
She said she would tell her friends and children about Shen Yun and hoped the company would continue to do well.
“Altogether it’s wonderful,” she said. “I enjoyed everything.”
Reporting by NTD Television, Michael Ye, and Sarah Le
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.
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.