Art Director: Shen Yun Visuals Transport You to Another Place

December 29, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas—Art director Jake Rodgers attended Shen Yun Performing Arts Sunday Dec. 28 with his wife, Jennifer, and children at the Long Center for the Performing Arts.

Mr. Rodgers is the Vice President and Art Director of independent computer game developer Spacetime Studios. He has been artistic director for games for Sony Online Entertainment, Microsoft, and Electronic Arts. He was art director for massively-multiplayer game Star Wars Galaxies.

Rather than physical sets, Shen Yun uses a projected digital backdrop to reproduce scenes of China from palaces, to countrysides, to mountain tops, to heavenly realms. Mr. Rodgers commented on the interaction of the dancers with this projected back drop behind them. In some of programs dancers on stage interact with characters on the screen, adding visual depth and enabling dancers to “fly” visually.

Mr. Rodgers said he thought the artistic level was very high, “especially the timing of the graphics and the animated graphics, and the dance together. It added another dimension.”

She thought it was magic.
— Jake Rodgers, speaking about his daughter
He said it was especially wonderful for his daughter. “She couldn’t believe it, she thought it was magic.”

Even for himself, a master of digital arts, he said the backdrop visually “added a feeling of being in another place.”

Such as: “The Chinese countryside or by the lake, all the different areas, adding the beautiful scenery added a lot to the dance.”

Mr. Rodgers said he enjoyed seeing the variety of different ethnic dance from across China. Shen Yun is based on Chinese classical dance as well as folk and ethnic Chinese dance.

Mrs. Rodgers also said she enjoyed Shen Yun. “It’s beautiful and I think we’re learning about Chinese culture and history. So we’ve been really excited to be able to see the show,” she said.

Shen Yun’s World Company have 5 performances, Dec. 26-29, at Austin’s Long Center for the Performing Arts.

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Nicholas Zifcak

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.