ATLANTA—Watching Shen Yun was the first time digital media producer Eric Jones had ever attended a live dance performance.
While Jones was impressed with dancers’ skill and ability, it was what lay behind the dancing that moved him.
“What I really liked is you can get the emotions and the feelings through the dancing,” he said.
The digital producer was able to sense goodness, jest, beauty, and grace emanating from the performers.
Jones attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts with his girlfriend Jessica Duke at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, on April 12.
Shen Yun performed in Atlanta as part of its 2019 world tour, which will see six touring companies traveling to more than 130 cities across four continents. The New York-based company’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture through music and dance.
Jones, who as a digital media producer at Cox Media Group has an eye for video editing, was drawn to the 3-D backdrop and its interaction with the other elements of the production.
“The dancers … merged in within [the backdrop] and it was very seamless that way,” he said.
“The timing between the graphics and the dancers coming up and out [of the backdrop] was just wonderful.”
“The timing was great, it worked with the music, everybody was working together, visual effects, artists, the dancers, the choreography, the music.”
Jones was particularly impressed by how all these elements were perfectly timed together, which he said was something very difficult to do in a live production.
He added that the graphics and vibrant colors used in the projections was something he may even try to emulate in his own work.
Besides the technical aspect, Jones was deeply drawn to the message behind the performance, in particular to the pieces depicting the persecution of practitioners of spiritual discipline Falun Dafa in today’s China.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice consisting of meditation exercises and a set of teachings centered on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. The practice was banned by the Chinese communist regime in 1999 after it surged in popularity with around 70 million to 100 million people practicing the discipline in China by the end of the decade. Practitioners have since been subjected to a brutal persecution involving harassment, imprisonment, torture, and even death.
Jones felt a strong connection with the messages behind the stories depicting the persecution, so much so that he wanted to further explore the teachings of Falun Dafa.
The fact that many of the performers practiced the discipline themselves didn’t surprise Jones.
“You can definitely tell that they cared, that they believed in what they are doing. It was all very passionate, moving, and none of it was just performance—it was a way of life,” he said.
The last story of the performance, titled “The Final Moment,” which conveys scenes in modern day China, gave Jones a sense of hope.
“I like the way they tied the ancient with the modern, trying to bring the message from thousands of years ago, and they can still be put into practice today.”
“Hopefully more people follow the truth, compassion, and tolerance.”
With reporting by Mary Man.
The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time and has covered audience reactions since the company’s inception in 2006.