(Brussels) - Shen Yun Performing Arts is the world's premier classical Chinese dance company. Based in New York, its mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture through dance and music. Bringing dances portraying traditional legends like that of Mulan or Yue Fei, it also sheds an artistic light on today's world by telling stories of courage and compassion amidst violent repression in modern China, such as the story of Falun Gong. Shen Yun Performing Arts has been highly acclaimed, with audience members commenting that, through its shows, it has brought hope and spiritual enlightenment to the world.
For the first time, a series of seven shows was scheduled to début in Hong Kong on January 27. According to the presenting organisations, tickets for all seven shows were sold out within the first two weeks of sales. Though the visa requests for the travelling group were already made in October, on January 22, the Hong Kong Immigration Department has denied entry visas of seven of the company's core production team members, leaving the organizers with no choice but to cancel the shows in Hong Kong.
The reason given by Hong Kong immigration is that these production jobs could be filled locally. However, as had been clearly explained to Hong Kong authorities, these production members are an integral part of Shen Yun. Their production staff are highly trained in Shen Yun’s specific artistic requirements, which are exceptionally technical and detailed. They cannot be replaced and the show cannot go on without them.
It is obvious that the last minute refusal was deliberate and politically motivated. Since Shen Yun's début in 2007, the Chinese communist regime has been seeking to interfere with their performances by trying to pressure officials and theatres to cancel their shows.
On March 18, 2008, the largest TV station in Denmark, DR, reported that the CCP exerted pressure on a local theatre. In 2008, 25 congressmen from Sweden condemned the CCP for interfering with the show. On January 6, 2009, the CCP consulate in Frankfurt, Germany sent letters to local government officials and other countries' consulates, attacking the Shen Yun show. The letters were publicised later by the German media. This year, the CCP aims to interfere with the performance in Vienna, where the manager of a theatre confirmed that his group was threatened and pressured not to hold shows, and in Bucharest, where the CCP pressured the Romanian Ministry of Culture, which owns the venue where the show is to be held.
It is alarming to see how the Chinese regime resorts to all possible means to interfere with a cultural show. The European Falun Dafa Association expresses its hope that the people of Hong Kong who treasure their freedom will urge the Hong Kong government to undo this mistake. We also call upon governments in Europe to further investigate and condemn all the CCP's interference with Shen Yun's European tour. Shen Yun has already brightened the lives of millions of people, and we firmly believe that the CCP's interference with the revival of true culture will fail in the end.
FOR MORE DETAILS, PLEASE CONTACT THE EUROPEAN FALUN DAFA ASSOCIATION - Nicolas Schols + 32 (0) 479 875 734
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