Politics add jarring note to Shen Yun Performing Arts concert

23 Nov

FORT WORTH — No American balks at the singing of God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.
Or The Star-Spangled Banner before games, concerts and assemblies — I’m proud to be an American.
But what happens when the beliefs of another nation, another people, become the theme of a public concert, structured like an old-time revue — emcees banter, curtain up and down.
Through a couple of politically charged numbers at Bass Hall on Wednesday, Shen Yun Performing Arts asked visitors to confront persecution and rally to their beliefs.
Most of the dozens of dancers and musicians of Shen Yun follow the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. The practice is outlawed in China; its practitioners have been ostracized and persecuted.
Yet it came as a shock halfway through the first half of Wednesday’s performance when the show’s congenial host and hostess introduced the number Nothing Can Block the Divine Path, with dancing by Michelle Ren and music by Junyi Tan. Here in an idyllic urban park an exercise class is dispersed by black-clad thugs; a mom, dad and young girl are dragged away. Dancing and music that showed stylized brutalization and heavenly redemption felt heavy-handed rather than cathartic.
But the ensemble’s performance was mostly adept and engaging. A stage full of lovely dancers presented character sketches such as Lanterns, Imperial Archers and Flowing Silk. Maidens and warriors came gracefully and athletically alive to present a vision of a free and happy country watched over by benevolent deities.
Best was the orchestra led by conductor Chia-Chi Lin, which incorporated Chinese instruments such as the slippery, bowed erhu and a wailing, oboelike shawm, which added intensity and authenticity to the dramatic and colorful dances.
But then the words of a song would reveal the push of propaganda. It felt forced to me, lessening the otherwise neat and friendly performance.

text from: http://www.facts.org.cn/Reports/World/201008/t115778.htm

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One Response to “Politics add jarring note to Shen Yun Performing Arts concert”

  1. Zuan Lim November 24, 2010 at 10:32 am #

    Performing arts reflecting the current social, political or religious scenes are bound to be controversial, but there is nothing wrong with that, and in fact should be applauded and encouraged. However, when Falun Gong is the central issue, a negative spin is invariably applied. In this case, you called the performance a propaganda. Why? Raising awareness on persecutions can hardly be categorized as propaganda.

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