With Shen Yun Since: 2014
Yuan Ling’s singing talent was discovered at age 14 during a vocal competition in China. She first studied at the secondary school of China’s Central Conservatory of Music as a voice major and, later, the Opera Division of the college program. She is the gold medalist of the 2010 Castel Sant’Angelo International Singing Competition (Italy), and winner of China’s 2011 Nationwide Colleges of the Arts National Opera Competition.
Languages: Chinese, English, Korean.
Wanted to be a professional singer at age: 13.
Love most about music: When I sing and think about the content of what I’m singing—the scene described, the events or emotions—sometimes I’ll have this distinct feeling that—‘oh, this is something I’ve already experienced, maybe in a past life.’ Maybe I was also a singer before.
First time heard of Shen Yun: In 2007, back when I was still in China in university. It was Shen Yun’s first production. We weren’t allowed to watch it in China, but people smuggled copies of Shen Yun DVDs and secretly passed them around. We got a hold of one. So my first time seeing Shen Yun was watching a forbidden video. Who knew I would one day be on stage with Shen Yun?
Which Shen Yun dance piece never fails to move you? The Steadfast Lotus (2014). This is a dance set in today’s China about a mother who gives her daughter a beautiful banner decorated with a lotus and three words: “Truth, Compassion, Tolerance.” These are the principles of Falun Dafa, the meditation discipline that they practice and that is being persecuted in China. This perfect mother-daughter moment is shattered when Communist Party police arrive and take the mother away. The dance reflects so many tragic stories of families in China torn apart, and at the same time ends with newfound hope.
If you had one wish: It would be to perform with Shen Yun in my hometown.