Our First Show is Finished
It’s hard to believe we are already on the fourth day of Shen Yun’s 2011 world tour. Yesterday afternoon, we finished our first city: Dallas. Tomorrow we have a show in Houston, our second city.
The AT&T Theater in Dallas is really state of the art. The orchestra’s dressing rooms are well lit and very roomy; the orchestra pit is really spacious as well, it’s almost as big as the stage! Yet the theater’s most remarkable feature is its ceiling, which has dozens of lights hanging from it, reminiscent of a canopy of twinkling stars in the midnight sky. I feel carefree and serene, as if I were playing my violin by tranquil starlight.
The audience here was especially enthusiastic. During intermission, a couple sitting in the first row poked their heads into the orchestra pit and told our principal violinist, “Your performance is ever so nice. We’re enjoying ourselves immensely.” Another time, as we were waving goodbye during our curtain call, I saw a man give us a big thumbs up and shout excitedly, “Five stars! A five-star performance!”
But the most memorable episode was when a young girl came over to the orchestra pit during intermission. She looked to be about only six or seven years old, but had an astute air about her, determinedly pulling her mother’s hand toward us. Her voice was sweet and clear. “Look, this is the clarinet and that’s the flute,” she explained to her mother, “Wow, there’s an oboe over here! And the violins are on the left, so I’m guessing the violas are on the right and the cellos are behind them.”
Hearing her words, I couldn’t help but smile. She was so young, yet she already knew so much about the orchestra. I predicted that this little girl would someday become an orchestra member like me. She reminded me of myself as a young violinist.
I remember when I was little, my neighbor, who was the same age as me, attended a concert with his parents. It was his first encounter with the musical world, and he immediately fell in love with the violin. My neighbor didn’t even know the name of this instrument, only that each musician held a stick-like gadget. And so he cried to his parents: “I want to learn how to play that stick-instrument! I want to learn that!”
Consequently, his mother and father contacted many other parents in the neighborhood to inquire if they were interested in having their children learn the violin. When my parents asked me, I thought “stick-instrument” sounded like a cool, thrilling weapon from a kung fu movie and readily agreed. Just like this, I began my journey as a violinist…
Tomorrow we will have our first Houston performance. I hope I will be able to deliver more melodious music to the audience through my “stick-instrument” so they can truly experience the splendor of traditional Chinese culture.
December 23, 2010