TAINAN, Taiwan—As a folk song singer, Wu Jing-yuan takes pride in Taiwanese culture and so was excited when he saw Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra showcase it. What he had not anticipated was how deeply he would be touched by the divine spirit behind the performance.
“The performers seemed like they were deities of music and song,” said Mr. Wu, who is part of the Wu Jinhui Traditional Folk Song Studio, after seeing the matinee performance on Sept. 24.
The musicians communicated to his soul, he said, with their eyes and body gestures. “From my central nervous system to every cell in my body, I was truly touched.”
The symphony orchestra, with its headquarters in New York, is on a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture—a culture that is virtually non-existent in modern-day China, though much preserved in Taiwan. According to Shen Yun’s website, the essence of this culture is the “respect for the divine.”
“I was touched from the first note to the very last,” said Mr. Wu, who added that he was so mesmerized by the music that he clapped his hands to its rhythms. “I’m still very much moved now.”
In addition to the divine aspects and the beauty, Mr. Wu took notice of how the music contained two other elements—sincerity and compassion. Both of these values are considered integral parts of traditional Chinese culture.
One of the highlights of the performance, said a proud Mr. Wu, was hearing “Green Mountain,” an all-original composition that is based on a folk melody of people indigenous to Taiwan. He said it was wonderful that the orchestra brought new artistic interpretation to the song and promoted it to the rest of the world.
In addition, the resounding voices of the impassioned songs by the soloists with their bel canto technique also impressed Mr. Wu, especially how easily they were able to reach high notes.
“As a singer, I truly admire them.”
He was equally impressed with how the orchestra brought together two musical traditions—the combination of classical Chinese instruments and a Western symphony orchestra. He praised the effort of making the entire performance “vivid” and “comprehensive.”
According to Shen Yun’s website, this combination of East and West is considered by many to be a “breakthrough in classical music.”
“It’s indeed very wonderful. This is by far the best and most touching performance I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said emphatically. “With the vibration of the melodies and the lyrics, our bodies and souls are cleansed.”
“[The orchestra] deserves a lot of promotion for it would be of much benefit to our society,” he said.
Reporting by Frank Fang and Billy Shyu
New York-based Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comprises musicians from the four Shen Yun Performing Arts touring companies. For information about the October performances, visit: ShenYun.com/Symphony
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.