Shen Yun continued its tour across the United States, UK, Canada, and Europe last week, bringing to theatergoers an array of positivity and beauty displayed through classical Chinese dance and music.
For Kaija Corlazzoli, executive director of the Toronto Concert Orchestra and the Amici Chamber Ensemble, the music of Shen Yun was particularly impressive.
She was delighted to hear the erhu, a two-stringed instrument known for its versatility in mimicking the sounds of nature and the human voice.
“The orchestra sounds so special, and it accentuates the experience so much. The dancing is extraordinary, but the music is bringing so much to the experience as well, and such unique sounds [are] really transporting us,” she said after seeing Shen Yun at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto on April 3.
“It is divine,” Corlazzoli said.
Shen Yun features a unique orchestra that blends traditional Chinese instruments with Western instruments within a classical Western symphony orchestra. The orchestra performs original compositions that accompany the dances on stage.
“It’s blending the familiar with something that’s really different or a little bit special, so it’s drawing out the curious within you,” Corlazzoli added.
Shen Yun, which is based in New York, is the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. It was founded in 2006 with the mission of reviving the traditional culture of China, with a history of 5,000 years and deeply spiritual roots, which has been all but destroyed after decades of communist rule in the country.
Jolamda Woordes, an occupational psychologist who watched Shen Yun in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, on April 3, said the performance presented a different side of China.
“It’s different as the China we think of today, so I think it’s good that you show this so we have an impression [of] what is the past of China,” Woordes said.
Jim Smith, city councilman for the city of Lynnwood, watched Shen Yun with his wife Sherry in Seattle, Washington, on April 2.
He said that the spirituality of China and of the performers came through in the performance.
“You can tell that the heart of the dancers, the heart of the performers, the heart of the orchestra was bringing out the heart of China, and the culture of China.”