Just how exactly would the dancer slap the chopsticks across his chest this time? The conductor’s eyes were fixed on the dancer, the erhu player’s on the conductor’s baton, and mine were on the erhuist. It was one of those exciting moments we experience pretty often as instrumentalists who accompany an ever-evolving work of art on stage.
During our recent run at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, we performed a re-choreographed “Chopstick Zest,” whose first version premiered in 2008. Our choreographer, Chen Yungchia, had some new inspiration and, being the lead dancer of the piece, had exactly the skills—and I must say, the fantastic flair as well—to make it a reality.
Since the Mongolian-inspired piece had changed, and despite our rehearsals, we didn’t know quite what the timing of that first movement would be. Fortunately, we made it.
Although our orchestra performs a lot, the music truly never grows old. There are always new layers to be found in the music, and new things to make that much more beautiful and perfect. As someone once said, “art is the limitless pursuit of perfection.” Indeed.
Oboist with Shen Yun's New York Company Orchestra
September 7, 2010