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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Film Producer, 'The feeling that they imbued in the performance was heavenly'

January 25, 2010

By Heide B. Malhotra
Epoch Times
January 21, 2010

WASHINGTON -- Mr. Don Thompson, renowned film and
documentary maker, watched the Shen Yun
Performing Arts show at the Kennedy Center's
Opera House on Jan. 20 with the eye of an expert,
of one can see immediately the merits of a show.

Mr. Thompson's films have received special
recognition at six U.S. and International Film
Festivals, including a documentary winning an award at Sundance last year.

The film, about Tibetan music, was directed by
Ngawang Choephel, a political prisoner in Tibet for six years.

"We’ve been involved in other films, other
documentary projects, and we try to always
emphasize the humanistic approach; themes of
tolerance, themes of compassion, reconciliation,
rather than to divide people up into different
camps—to try to see what is common among people," Mr. Thompson explained.

Then, without much more preamble, he shared his
view about what he had just seen, "I have to say that I was very moved."

"I was struck by the energy of the performers,
and really, it seemed to take you to another
world. It was very, very pure, very spiritual,
and I think that's the interesting thing to me
about theater, about any theatrical performance."

He went on to share his knowledge of theatrical
art and how it connects to what he had seen
today: "What’s so important about theater and the
live human performance is the direct connection
between the audience and the performer. So, as
such, performers can get the audience or help the
audience get back in touch with their own
humanity, and I’m very much a proponent of
humanistic media and of anything that helps us to
humanize the world and to create a more tolerant
and compassionate world. I think that when we can
understand that we are all a common humanity,
then we can do that, and I think that this kind
of performance helps that by helping people to
see their own spirituality, by having that kind of touchstone."

He was quite impressed with the 3-D backdrop, the
delightful costumes, and every other aspect of
the choreography and stage design.

"I liked what I saw. I would call myself a
spiritual person, so I believe that there are
other dimensions to life and to experience. So, I
find what I saw to be compatible with my beliefs.
I don’t know what heaven looks like, but I think
the feeling that they imbued in the performance was heavenly."

The music, performed by an orchestra that
included Eastern and Western instruments, brought
a totally new tonal quality to the stage.

"I love the music. China’s a very multi-ethnic
country, and I think that right now it’s held
together by force, and that’s a vestige of the
empire. And I think that that hopefully, maybe
can change, so what will hold China together is a
common thread of perhaps spirituality, perhaps values, perhaps culture.

Before saying good bye, he shared that "Pia-Maria
Norris, the lovely Pia-Maria Norris, invited us,
to come to this show. She’s the founder of the Asia Vision Foundation."

With reporting by Ximing.

Shen Yun Performing Arts will be performing at
the Kennedy Center Opera House through January 24.

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Shen
Yun Performing Arts. For more information, please
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