CLAREMONT, Calif.—Disney sound technician Jim Adams was gripped by the production put on by Shen Yun Performing Arts, from the dance, to the sounds, to the creative use of the 3-D backdrop.
“It was fantastic!” Adams said.
“The dancing was fantastic, the colors, the costumes, the movement. I liked some of the creativity in the costumes, and the way they were with the movements and how it all flowed.”
Adams saw the performance with his mother, Sharon McFerran, retired from the risk management industry, at Bridges Auditorium in Pomona College, Claremont, California, on April 6.
New York-based Shen Yun is in the midst of its 2019 world tour, stopping at more than 130 cities over four continents to disseminate traditional Chinese culture through song and dance. Each of the six equally-sized touring companies perform with an orchestra, composed of both classical Western and Chinese instruments.
Adams has worked at Disney as a stage technician specializing in audio production for 26 years. Sitting from the balcony at the theater, he was able to get a good view of Shen Yun’s orchestra.
“I loved the orchestra. I’ve mixed orchestras at Disney, the [conductor] was fantastic,” he said.
He was also very impressed with the 3-D backdrop which was incorporated into the storytelling.
“I loved the creativeness, especially how they exited the staged and entered into the video wall,” Adams said.
The sound technician said the stories told by Shen Yun reminded him of studying Chinese history back in high school, which allowed him to have a greater appreciation of the performance. The emcees’ introduction to the stories, he said, also helped him with understanding what was unfolding on stage.
Ultimately, the stage technician was moved by the completeness of the entire production, which he understood was no simple feat.
“The color, and the overall cohesiveness from beginning to the end, not only of each story but how the whole production was put together. It was complete,” he said.
He added: “From beginning to middle to end … you know, I’m at Disney and granted we have some very talented dancers here, but I could tell the difference in the production value, for the level of dancing and this was a very high level of dancing and I thoroughly enjoyed that.”
Adams pointed out the difficulty in executing the synchronicity he saw between Shen Yun’s dancers.
“It really hard when you have a dozen performers out there and they are all on time—from the second they step on stage to the second they step off stage. And that was incredible,” he said.
“It wasn’t just with one number, it was from the beginning of the show to the very end of the show. I don’t think I saw anybody actually miss a beat. That was fantastic.”
Adams’s mother, McFerran, was also moved by the performance. It was listening to the soprano that moved her to tears.
“The sound. Her scene was special, it was ethereal, it was just fabulous,” said McFerran, with tears in her eyes from recalling the experience.
“The whole thing was absolutely fabulous, but for me when she hit that high note, it did it. It brought me to tears.”
The power of the soprano’s sound was bolstered by the song’s lyrics, which touched upon spiritual themes.
“The message: be kinder, be more gentle, be more tolerant,” McFerran said.
With reporting by Michael Ye.
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.