WASHINGTON, D.C.—As the GM of a leading publishing services company, Jim Jones knows how many individual elements must come together to achieve success. It was this synergy that he found delightful in Shen Yun Performing Arts on Sunday, as he took in the show at Kennedy Center Opera House.
“It would be hard to [choose] just one moment. I think it was really just the whole show—the way it all came together really made it special,” he said.
Mr. Jones is the general manager of Gannett Publishing Services (GPS), and former operations manager for USA Today. A recognized leader in the publishing industry, GPS operates 43 commercial printing facilities throughout the United States.
Mr. Jones was stunned by how Shen Yun’s many production elements came together seamlessly.
“I thought it was fantastic. It was beautiful,” he said. “It was very colorful, and [celebrated] the freedom of expression, the orchestra—it was just really well put together.”
New York-based Shen Yun is a world-renowned classical Chinese dance and music company, with a mission to revive 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture.
The production features story-based classical Chinese and ethnic or folk dance. It also includes a unique philharmonic orchestra that incorporates traditional Chinese instruments, vocal soloists, digitally animated backdrops, and hundreds of handmade costumes and props.
Mr. Jones enjoyed the vocal operatic performances, which feature bel canto style sung in Chinese lyrics.
“The music was great, the solo artists, all of that was really, really well done, just great, I’ll see it again,” he said adding Shen Yun was an important cultural experience that everyone can understand and appreciate.
“I would say it is something you really should see,” he said.
“It broadens your cultural perspective, but just the beauty of it—the dance, the way it was all put together was really something someone would take away and admire.”
Starting with one company in 2006, in a few short years Shen Yun grew to three dance companies and three orchestras, totaling some 300 artists. Every year the show tours to around 20 countries and 100 cities.
Paradoxically, Shen Yun has never been able to perform in mainland China, where traditional culture and spiritual values have remained suppressed for 60 years under the Chinese communist regime.
Some of Shen Yun’s dances depict themes of persecution and human rights abuses in China, making it a target of the communist regime.
Mr. Jones said Shen Yun’s themes of hope, resilience and human rights freedoms were inspiring.
“The hope of freedom of expression—I think that’s the key,” he said.
“The freedom of speech, and just the messages about all the different time periods, 5,000 years throughout the dynasties and all the different things—It was just really well put together.”
Reporting by NTD Television and Justina Wheale.
Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, tours the world on a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org
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