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Filmmaker Sees Effective Art Presentation in Shen Yun


Epoch Times Staff
Created: February 3, 2013 Last Updated: February 11, 2013
Related articles: Shen Yun On Tour » Special Section
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Filmmaker Vera Chawla discussed what impressed her after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 2, 2013 evening. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

Filmmaker Vera Chawla discussed what impressed her after seeing Shen Yun Performing Arts at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 2, 2013 evening. (Courtesy of NTD Television)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—People who are engaged in the arts often better understand and appreciate how the elements that make up the Shen Yun performance are integrated to create a memorable experience. The sheer beauty in the elegant dancing is typically mentioned. 

However, most observers may not be conscious that the beauty which they find so mesmerizing is accented and enhanced by dramatization of character, music from the Shen Yun Orchestra combining East and West instruments, and the state-of-the-art graphics technology that Shen Yun has developed to high degree.

Filmmaker Vera Chawla knows something about integrating color, movement, and story into a movie. She attended the Shen Yun Performing Arts on Feb. 2 at the Kennedy Center Opera House and was asked about whether the video backdrop enhanced the show.

“Yes, very much so. I think they added so much to the whole show. They just totally made the show jump, you know, another quantum leap in what it was, so yes, it adds a lot. The filmography was excellent, yes,” Ms. Chawla said.

The backdrops can transport one to completely different realms. The landscapes shown are often spectacular and complement the mood projected in the story or dance. “The digital projection infinitely expands and transforms the stage,” says the Shen Yun website.

Ms. Chawla has degrees in applied mathematics, computer science, and electrical engineering, according to a Gazette feature article on her in 2007, which also stated that she left her high tech position in a company to devote herself to film making. Then her career took a new direction. She is the writer, director, and producer of a bio-terrorism thriller called “Death Without Consent.” She told the NTD Television interviewer that she currently runs a high-tech company as well as makes films.

With a filmmaker’s eye she noticed, “I think the show was beautiful. It was a lot of eye candy.” 

She added, “The choice of colors is beautiful and obviously there’s a subliminal message going on throughout which you can’t help but pick up.”

As someone who grew up with the Chinese stories that are depicted on the Shen Yun stage, she said that Shen Yun “gives you a very good sense of [the true Chinese] culture. … I have a sense of the real part of China culture too. On the whole it was piecing in the stuff we don’t get to see when we just visit China.”

She added that the message she got is that the outside world should take a good look at what is really going on in China. 

Was the view presented any different from other viewpoints?

“It’s a different view, yes. [laughing] Definitely. … [Shen Yun] did it very subtly, [and] did it in a very beautiful format,” Ms. Chawla said.

With reporting by NTD Television and Gary Feuerberg

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. Shen Yun New York Company performed in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House from Jan 30 -- Feb 3. Visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org

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