Shen Yun Takes Film Producer on a Journey

May 1, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Mr. Kanj attends Shen Yun
Mr. Kanj attends Shen Yun Performing Arts at Sydney's Capitol Theatre. (Steve Xu/The Epoch Times)

SYDNEY—”It took me out of my reality and into the dream, and into the world of these characters,” said film producer Sam Kanj during intermission at the Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company performance at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre on Tuesday evening, May 1.

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts was established in 2006 with the mission of reviving 5,000 years of divinely inspired Chinese culture.

Mr. Kanj attended the performance with his wife, Inaas Kanj, who is a photographer. Both come from creative backgrounds and could appreciate the integration of all the different aspects of the performance and its intricate details.

“It’s something that I’ve never been to before, and it’s just amazing … especially with all the music, and how things all just play in sync together. It’s just really amazing,” Mr. Kanj said.

Mr. Sam Kanj is managing director of Rising Pictures Pty Ltd and Creative Director at Kanjart Designs Pty Ltd. His feature film The Day Hollywood Died—a film four years in the making—will soon have its red carpet premier in the Hoyts entertainment quarters.

As a film producer, Mr. Kanj says he is highly analytical and very detailed and he “appreciates every little detail that goes into [the production] and the thought and the process, whether it is costumes, choreography, animation, backdrops, lighting, music. Everything I see, is the specific detail, and it’s something I appreciate because it’s something that I do as part of my business, and I know how much work is put into these kind of performances,” he said.

Mr. Kanj particularly enjoyed the dance The Choice, set in contemporary times about two friends who go their separate ways, one a young policeman and the other a young woman who is inspired by the beliefs of the traditional spiritual discipline of Falun Dafa, based on the principles of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance, and joins the practice, but which has become outlawed in China. When the followers of Falun Dafa are beaten by police, the young woman tries to defend them, which brings her face-to-face with her old friend, and he needs to make a choice, according to the program description.

“I don’t really know how to explain it,” said Mr. Kanj, “but I understood the story and the concept behind it.”

Mr. Kanj elaborated further on how he felt about the performance. “How it all works together with the [orchestra] as well, is just amazing. It took me out of my reality and into the dream, and into the world of these characters, and that’s exactly what you need to do as a director in terms of making these performances come to life … it really took me on that journey,” he said.

As a photographer, Mrs. Kanj could appreciate the artistic quality of Shen Yun.

“Everything’s spectacular. It’s like I’m living a dream … the colours, everything is just spectacular. I love it, I love everything about it,” she said.

Mrs. Kanj was also impressed with the animated digital backgrounds and how the movements and the animations work together.

“The background how the movement … the animations and things like that—Spectacular!” she said.

Reporting by Steve Xu and Ron Champagne.

Shen Yun Performing Arts, based in New York, has three touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world, with a mission to revive traditional Chinese culture. Shen Yun Performing Arts New York Company will perform at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre through May 6.

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