Photo Credit: Shen Yun Performing Arts
NEW YORK, NY / ACCESSWIRE / March 31, 2022 / The pipa, or Chinese lute, requires sophisticated performance techniques and is known for its complexity. One Shen Yun musician, in particular, Liang Yu, has mastered the ancient art of the pipa. As part of the Shen Yun Symphony, thousands of people listen to Liang Yu's performances each year, mesmerized by her ability to deeply connect with the music she plays.
The pipa is a two-thousand-year-old instrument that is often referred to as the "King" of Chinese folk instruments, and one of the most expressive Chinese instruments. The instrumental body holds significant meaning, as it represents the three powers, five elements, and four seasons. Liang Yu was introduced to the pipa as a child, and despite the instrumental and technical complexity, she competed in national competitions beginning in middle school. She continued to win in these national competitions throughout high school and college, with a competitive mindset. Her mindset began to change once joining Shen Yun Performing Arts, partly due to the values of the organization.
"Everything that Shen Yun does, their persistence, influence, and legacy, along with the stories Shen Yun is telling, are not only the essence of traditional Chinese culture but also the most beautiful parts," she said.
Life for Liang Yu did not always revolve around musical performance, as her childhood was tainted by the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) war on Falun Dafa, which is an advanced self-cultivation practice from the Buddha School, that includes five slow-moving exercises. This spiritual meditation discipline also teaches truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Despite the peaceful nature of Falun Dafa, Jiang Zemin, a former CCP leader, began the war on Falun Dafa in 1999 by ordering the eradication of this spiritual practice. Liang Yu was directly impacted by this as a child while meditating in a local park with her mother and neighbors. Liang Yu recalls the swarm of local police that suddenly arrested her mother and her neighbors. Despite the traumatic nature of this event, it served as a catalyst in discovering her lifelong mission to express her faith through music.
The harrowing experiences Liang Yu survived in China helped cultivate her unique ability to interpret and understand music on a deeper, and perhaps spiritual, level. "My experiences growing up, and the experiences of Falun Gong practitioners, have shown me many examples of fighting for a just cause," she said. "Along with Shen Yun's mission, these have all inspired me to stay steadfast in my faith, and to persevere in doing what's right."
Two thousand-year-old traditions are kept alive through Liang Yu's performances, and when the curtain draws to a close after each performance, she remembers the path that brought her to this stage. She remembers the path filled with sacrifice, perseverance, and faith.
To learn more about Shen Yun, its history, and its one-of-a-kind experiences, visit their site here.
Denise C. Riley
SOURCE: Shen Yun