British Theatres: Do Not Host ‘Shen Yun’ Performances – Open Letter of Complaint

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‘Shen Yun’ – How the West ‘Imagines’ Chinese Culture

Dear Host of the Shen Yun Dance Company

My name is Dr Adrian Chan-Wyles and I am a British academic based in South London and specialising in Chinese Cultural Studies. I am writing in regard to your establishment hosting the performances of the Shen Yun Dance Company, and the potential and real dangers this might entail for the reputation of your theatre, and the psychological and physical well-being of your audiences.

The Shen Yun Dance Company is headquartered in New York and receives ample funding from the US Government. It has no links – either legally or culturally – with Mainland China, and operates as a propaganda tool of an anti-China US foreign policy. You may well be aware that its performances – whilst claiming to represent ‘traditional’ Chinese culture, have received generally ‘negative’ reviews from experts (both East and West), as well as complaints from the fee-paying public specifying the strange and bizarre brain-washing techniques employed by the Shen Yun management to control its employees, and to influence the adults and children in the audience after the shows have finished.

Why is this important? The Shen Yun Dance Company, as a Western invention, has been accused of institutional racism which sees diasporic-born Chinese performers being forced into acting obviously contrived ‘Eurocentric’ dance sets that are the product of the Western imagination, and which have nothing to do with the practice and preservation of genuine Chinese culture. As the British theatre is a noble and ancient tradition at the cutting-edge of political comment, it is important that this racialised attack that attempts to mimic traditional Chinese culture be removed from any legitimate public performance in the UK. The attempted interpretations of Chinese artistic set-pieces are deficient in content and character, with incomplete dialogue, incorrect Chinese language expressions, and inappropriate cultural interpretations. Furthermore, the dance movements are entirely Eurocentric in character and reveal the non-Chinese origin of the show.

Perhaps the most distressing aspect of this issue is that the Shen Yun Dance Company uses the money you pay to their managers to finance the criminal activities of the Falun Gong Cult, which has been involved in human trafficking, kidnap, theft, terrorism, rape, sexual abuse and murder – not only in Mainland China – where it is ‘banned’ – but also in the West. Its leaders live a life of luxury in the US, whilst its followers prey upon the weak, vulnerable and easily led. Recently, of course, a Vatican Ethics Committee ‘cleared’ Mainland China of any wrong-doing and declared the Falun Gong Cult to be telling lies and fabricating untruths.  When all this information is known, it becomes a duty to discontinue hosting any and all Shen Yun Dance Company performances, as well as ensuring that theatre-land is kept up to date with the current situation.

Thank you for your time in this matter.

Yours sincerely

 

Dr Adrian Chan-Wyles

Sutton-London

2 comments

  1. Email Sent to:

    Eventim-Apollo (London) aka Hammersmith-Apollo (14.3.2019)
    From the Box Office (14.3.2019)
    Dominion Theatre (London) – (14.3.2019)

  2. Reply from the Dominion Theatre (15.3.2019)

    Dear Adrian

    Thank you for your comments.

    The Dominion Theatre welcomes many different art forms and productions without prejudice. During the periods between our large-scale West End productions, the venue is available for rent for different types of shows and events which book our theatre because of the investment we have made in our building, facilities, and people.

    I can confirm that though the Dominion Theatre hosted the Shen Yun Dance Company in 2018, there are currently no plans for it to return to any Nederlander UK venue.

    Kind regards,

    C

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