Shen Yun’s Orchestra ‘Fabulous’ Says Guitar Guru

January 25, 2014 Updated: February 25, 2014

VANCOUVER—As a guitar builder, teacher, and player, Jim Soloway knows everything there is to know about his chosen instrument.

But he experienced a whole new musical world on Friday as he took in Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Mr. Soloway and his wife Debra enjoyed the performance from their seventh row seats, and were taken with the power of the orchestra.

“The music is fabulous,” said Mr. Soloway during the intermission. “Being that close, the music is big.”

Shen Yun’s renowned orchestra is unique in that it blends traditional Chinese instruments with classical Western instruments.

Mr. Soloway said the combination was “absolutely great.”

“I can hear the Eastern themes but the Western orchestra gives it a mass, gives it size,” he said.

Mrs. Soloway, an executive assistant at accounting firm Deloitte, said experiencing a live orchestra was a rare “luxury” on today’s performing arts scene.

“Having a live orchestra for a performance like this is somewhat unusual. It’s a luxury to have a touring troupe with a live orchestra,” she said.

New York-based Shen Yun is the world’s foremost classical Chinese dance and music company. Each Shen Yun performance features about 20 presentations that aim to revive the essence of China’s ancient and divinely inspired culture.

According to the Shen Yun website, classical Chinese dance is a complete system of dance and the origin of many other dance styles.

“You can see elements of the kind of grace we associate with Western ballet with an athleticism and a flavour that is just unique,” Mrs. Soloway noted.

“I loved it, I really did.”

Mr. Soloway was thrilled with the athleticism and rich expressiveness of classical Chinese dance, which includes difficult flips and tumbling techniques.

“I like how athletic it is. I like how much fun everybody seems to be having—that’s the part that most gets me,” he said.

Mrs. Soloway said it was a lovely way to spend the evening.

“It’s just wonderful we are really enjoying it. It’s quite a spectacle in the best sense of the word,” she said.

Reporting by Ryan Moffat and Justina Wheale

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

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.