President of Charitable Foundation Lauds the Tradition in Shen Yun

January 1, 2022 ShareSHARE

RALEIGH, NC.—John Hood is a writer, president of a charitable foundation, and a tap dance teacher. His expertise in multiple areas gave him a unique perspective on Shen Yun Performing Arts.

He took notice of Shen Yun‘s efforts to uphold tradition and he expressed his support for their work.

“Tradition is really the sum total of human experience. It’s what people have learned over the course of generations of time, proving certain kinds of practices or beliefs or values to be useful,” he said.

“There’s a famous writer that calls tradition the democracy of the dead. The idea being that people who’ve lived in the past were no less intelligent, no less wise, no less experienced than we are.”

He also spoke about the tragedy of communism when it tries to change or eliminate tradition.

“What happens with communism, or other kinds of ideologies that try to sweep away tradition is essentially you’re throwing knowledge into the ocean. You’re just dumping it away,” he said. “We always have a lot to learn from tradition, and when systems have fought, whether it be communism or fascism or other kinds of modern ideologies attempt to sweep away all of the wisdom of the past, it leaves everyone ignorant.”

Mr. Hood described how the dances of New York-based Shen Yun infused traditional elements into their pieces.

“It’s very obvious that the different pieces that I’ve seen are influenced by traditional religious beliefs. You can see how the Daoists concepts, the Buddhist concepts, and the other kinds of traditions are interwoven into the story, and I think that’s something that audiences around the world can appreciate,” he said.

Orchestra Gives Power to Performance

He also expressed his appreciation for the live orchestra and the lively music of the production.

“I always like to see dance performances with live orchestras. It gives so much more meaning and power to a performance. What I particularly find interesting about this performance is the obvious mixture of western instruments, Chinese instruments, Western musical style, Chinese musical style. It creates a sum that is greater than the parts,” he said.

“I’m a tap dance teacher, I’m particularly interested in rhythms, and I appreciate the music allowing these different ethnic and folk dances to illustrate different kinds of rhythms, and different kinds of patterns.”

He also elaborated on the role that music plays in life as well as in the performance.

“Music can bring you to tears, music can make you laugh, music can make you feel, music can make you angry,” he said. “You see in a lot of that, in this performance, you see a variety of different emotions. The piece that involves the modern-day story about the daughter of the surgeon. There’s some music in there that creates delight at the first part of the story, but later in the story it makes you angry.”

Mr. Hood was also highly impressed by the dancers. As a tap dance teacher who also has experience in ballet, the difference that he saw in classical Chinese dance was fascinating to him.

“I’m just fascinated with the techniques. Some of it is similar to the western ballet that I’ve studied in the past, and some of it is very different, particularly the arm movements. And so I just loved the performance,” he said.

Reporting by NTD Television and Maria Han.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of Shen Yun Performing Arts. We have covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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