Chinese embassy pressures top London theatre to cancel show sign now

The Chinese embassy is attempting to block classical Chinese dance company Shen Yun from performing at the London Coliseum in April, following a global pattern of interference.

In 2011 the Chinese embassy sent staff to the London Coliseum to try to persuade them not to host Shen Yun. This year, two months ahead of the performances, they have been pressuring the Coliseum again.

"The Chinese regime is terrified of Shen Yun because it is reviving the true culture and values that the communist party all but destroyed in campaigns like the Great Cultural Revolution. It's difficult for us to imagine this in the West, but the Chinese Communist Party truly cannot bear for anything done in the name of China that does not fit their own ideology." said Rosemary Byfield of the Falun Dafa Association UK, promoters of Shen Yun.

Shen Yun is due to perform at the Coliseum, the home of English National Opera, from 12-15 April, 2012.

The New York-based company presents a large-scale production featuring 90 dancers, singers and solo musicians. The show seeks to revive traditional Chinese culture, weaving together stories of heavenly realms with ancient heroic legends and modern courageous tales.

The London situation is not an isolated case. The Chinese communist regime have used a variety of tactics to try to derail Shen Yun performances in other countries since 2007. In Moldova in 2010, they threatened to withdraw loans to the government if they did not pressure the theatre into cancelling.

In South Korea last month, the Chinese Vice Consulate demanded that local governments and theatres in Gouang and Daegu cancel contracts. Consular staff also contacted TV stations and told them to stop broadcasting advertisements as the show had been cancelled.

There are over 40 such cases of documented interference in Shen Yun Performing Arts. In some countries Chinese Embassies have sent out letters to local VIPs and politicians discouraging them from supporting Shen Yun.

Shen Yun Performing Arts currently has three performing companies simultaneously on tour around the world. In America this year, shows sold out in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in New York's Lincoln Center.

No British gallery or venue should be subject to this kind of political pressure in an artistic matter.

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CarolBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
Government

Petition community:
Falun Dafa Association UK, the promoters of Shen Yun Performing Arts

Tags

arts, censorship, chinese, culture, embassy, interference, london, performing, shen, yun

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