Well-Known Violinist: Shen Yun, ‘It was like a taste of China’

May 13, 2014 7:58 pm Last Updated: May 17, 2014 8:03 pm

VIENNA—Violinist Ms. Melodi Kayis attended the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts Company closing show at the Wiener Stadthalle on Sunday, May 11. This venue opened in the late 1950’s, seats up to 16,000 people and is known because many famous shows and artists have performed there.

Ms. Kayis whose ancestors are from Turkey, studied music at the Manhattan School of Music and settled after completing her studies in Vienna.

She said, “I like the show very much … It was really fascinating.”

“First of all, I liked the quality of the orchestra and the dancers. It was really good, especially how they balanced the performance with classical education and Chinese culture.”

The Shen Yun show piqued her interest, especially because of bringing Chinese culture to its audience.

According to the Shen Yun website, „Through the universal language of music and dance, Shen Yun weaves a wondrous tapestry of heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales, taking you on a journey through 5,000 years of Chinese culture.

As a musician, the Shen Yun orchestra was of great interest to Ms. Kayis.

“Shen Yun’s one-of-a-kind orchestra, with its all-original compositions, blends East and West like no other,” explained an article on the Shen Yun website. “The distinctly Chinese sound of ancient instruments like the erhu and the pipa are bathed in a rich sea of Western strings, percussion, woodwinds, and brass. The result—two great classical music traditions producing one fresh, unexpected sound.”

Ms. Kayis said, “I would say the quality of the orchestra is so high. You know usually it is not so easy to mix western and Eastern instruments.”

It is not the first time she was exposed to a combination of instruments from different cultures.

She said, “We also have in Turkey Eastern and Western combinations. Usually when people try to combine instruments, it is not always successful. But in Shen Yun’s case it is really successful. The quality is excellent because all the musicians have really been well educated. Also the Chinese musicians were amazing. It sounds really good.”

It wasn’t just the orchestra that amazed her, but also the solo performances. “I loved the erhu solo performance. I think the musician is so talented and it was really touching. Especially when she started to play I was truly touched. Actually, this was one of my favorites of the entire performance.”

After a moment of thought she added to her impression of the erhu performance, “The slow part of the music was what I felt truly Chinese and yet I would say sentimental.”

Overall, “it is as if I have seen a part of Chinese culture. I have never seen such a show before. So for me it was like introducing the Chinese culture and the dancing and the music to the audience.”

Ms. Kayis was impressed with the backdrop, which also showed pictures of China’s landscapes, thus highlighting the scenes on stage. “It was like a taste of China.”

Reporting by NTD Television and Heide B. Malhotra

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.