Archive | June, 2011

Reviews about Chinese New Year Splendor

28 Jun

Other than the political, repetitive dance, would been a nice production but not on Radio City
by porkadell at Citysearch

We went on the 24th on 2009 with my wife and parents. We did the whole asian theme by going to Ruby Foo first, yes, I know it was an americanized asian place. The show was alright, but way too much political messages, and awkward opera singers. The best parts were the the drums (short screen time), the lady who played the voilin like instruments (2 strings), and the fan dance. Otherwise, everything else was too political. A New Year show with guys dressed in black killing a husband and pushing the mom and daughter around, and the prison scene.. really now, do we need that in a colorful show. I always picture the Chinese performancers as precise, accurate, fun to watch, but after watching the same thing for 2+ hrs, you do see a lot of flaws and imperfection. there may be professional dancers in the show, but if the supporting cast can’t be in rythm then it throws everything off. wasn’t worth paying a $100. also, what’s up with the strict rules on camera especially if i’m allow to take pictures at the other radio city’s performances. what i mean are random group shots with us, but if they see you with a camera beware the full court press is on you. overall, would prefer watching it on dvd. it was nothing chinese about it per say, but a religious group expressing their views.

Pros: it was at radio city with full stage and a top notch sound system
Cons: too political, and too many open seats

Pricey, propaganda show
by susoo at Citysearch
I’m a Chinese American who appreciates & supports Chinese culture. I bought pricey tickets for the January 2009 NYC show as a New Year present for my parents, believing the marketing ?The most magnificent Chinese New Year celebration in the world!? BOY, WAS IT NOT! This show has talented dancers but the very strong FA LUN GONG message; prevalent thru-out the MANY monotonous dances, and songs is unavoidable. It showcased dances with negative images, full with black, dark figures representing the evil & oppressed. Images of the dying, the dead and the jailed…It isn’t what a Chinese expects at a Lunar New Year celebration. This message send many folks to walk-out midst of show because it’s such an inauspicious way to welcome the New Year.
I also purchased these tickets online after a friend told me that my purchase would benefit his child’s school. Anyhow, the online option gave the worst seats for the most cost? Yet when you’re in the theater, BLOCKS of seats were left empty for the entire show–seats that were not available online. What a scam! I’m not commenting on the FA LUN GONG here, what was unsatisfactory was I had no idea the religious theme of this show. The official site doesn’t offer clues to help you make an informed choice. If this is your kind of thing, then, you’ll probably think it’s the most magnificent Chinese New Year celebration. BUT, for me, it’s a downer. BE WARNED! Make a sound choice. At the end of the show, show reporters interviewed non-Asian patrons for their opinions and I heard compliments on costumes and dances all are nice… if you’ve never seen such before and don’t understand Chinese culture. This show DOESN’T represent the BEST of my culture. My kid asked why we didn’t watch this on Chinese TV–which aired a 4 hour celebration with more pizazz and it’s FREE. Oh, did I mention the electronic backdrop that makes you feel like you were in a video game coupled with the traditional dances? Quite cheesy.

Pros: pretty costumes
Cons: Deceptive show, pricey, strong propraganda message, too long, negative images

Deceptive Marketing and Overpriced School Performance
by dw2104 at Citysearch

Year after year, they promote “true Chinese culture.” They claim that the Cultural Revolution wiped out all true Chinese culture and it is their duty and goal in life to study and resurrect it. And they were going to present 5000 years of Chinese Culture and civilization in 2.5 hours. Not once did they mention Falun Gong in their marketing spiels, flyers or any other paraphernalia they were passing out.
All in all, clueless non-Chinese people will enjoy the show, especially if they think “zen” is cool. But $100/ticket??? Go find your local Chinese School and they’ll put on a similar quality show minus Falun Gong propaganda. Find a college/university’s Chinese New Year show. Better yet, find a dance troupe touring from Taiwan or China.

They asked us to fill out a ridiculous survey during intermission (where do you bank, what cell phone service you use, where do you do your grocery shopping, what kind of car do you drive).
It’s all one big Falun Gong group: NTDTV is sponsoring tv station promoting Falun Dafa, Divine Performing Arts troupe of Falun Gong members trained at the Fei Tian Academy of Arts  middle-high school of Falun students studying dance, music, arts. What does all this mean? It means you are paying $100+ for a high school performance and funding their Falun agenda.

I avoided campus crusaders when I was in college and I am peeved that I overpaid for a show that was not only sub par in quality but preached to me half the time. True Chinese Culture??? More like 4 over sparkled Chinese opera singers with heinous songs and 15 averagely choreographed and performed dance pieces with an underlying agenda.

Chinese New Year is about happiness and celebrations, not deceptive marketing in order to preach your agenda. Save your money and watch a Chinese New Year Show on TV or just rent the Summer Olympics opening ceremony DVD from the library. It’s much more entertaining, better quality and most of all FREE!

Marketing fraud and low quality
by wongjoh at Citysearch
I went there last year and do not recommend going there. This show is deceptive and low quality.
Deceptive because it is billed as being for Chinese culture. I am Chinese and so I was expecting a show about dynasties, the three kingdom times, kung fu, Chinese opera — instead, the main theme was Falun Gong. They say that Falun Gong is an important part of Chinese culture but that is simply untrue, from both time and influence perspective. When a singer starts singing “Falun dafa is good” repeatedly, you start wondering whether there is a motive to promote Falun Gong.
It is also a low quality show. Perhaps people who have never been to a Chinese cultural show will find the garments and the acts interesting. However, again as a Chinese, this is much of a letdown — the singing was very much ordinary, and the dancing boring. I agree this is a very subjective evaluation but I think most educated Chinese people will agree that the show’s quality does not match the place, venue, and price (I paid $100 per person).
I am not anti- Falun Gong but after being deceived from the marketing of this show — I have serious doubts about the truthfulness and honesty of this cult.

Very disappointing
by AaronHartwell at Citysearch
I agree with some of the other negative criticisms. I was expecting something more along the lines of a show you’d see in China or Cirque de Sole here in the states. This was no where close. Overall, it felt like a low budget production. The stage was not decorated in any way, the dances were fairly boring and repetitive, and there was a big religious / political message being repeated throughout the whole show. Definitely not worth the $100 per ticket we paid.

Worst show I have ever seen
by madlip at Citysearch
I took a group of my friends (many of them are not Chinese) to visit China in 2005. We went to various acrobatic and dance shows there. Everyone was thrilled with the performances. My Egyptian friend saw the ads for this show and thought it would be like one of the shows she saw in China. She organized the same group of friends to go see the show. She was also very eager to share with her mom the rich Chinese culture and extravagant showmanship she had witnessed in China, so she took her mom along too. The show turned out to be a big disappointment. It was a political propaganda performed by a team of talentless amateurs, that completely distorted the essence of Chinese arts. Of course the organizer of the show tactically marketed the show as a culture celebration performed by highly professionally trained talents. It was completely deceiving. In the show, it repeatedly emphasized that the number one belief of Falun Gong is being truthful. The organizer just demonstrated the opposite. Fortunately my non-Chinese friends had already experienced the true essence of Chinese culture. Otherwise this show will undoubtedly distort their view about China and 5000 years of Chinese history.

Pros: none
Cons: everything about the show

Cheesy, cheap school-like production – and you are contributing financially to a political cause without knowing it!
by Mixkons1 at Citysearch
We attended the NY production 02/09 in NY (Radiocity). Glad we paid discount $58 with half off the second ticket. Silly dialogues from commentators, cheesy “tech digital” background, bad performances, costumes seem to be from Chinatown, not really any acrobatics as advertised and most importantly this is a Falun Dafa production with several political messages. Which by the way I might not oppose but they should have mentioned when we bought the tickets. Several songs _ Dafa is good and going on and on and on… – about the bad Chinese government and oppression. This was supposed to be Chinese New Year production and had NOTHING to do with Chinese New Year. How did end up politicized I have no idea. Couple of people left half way – and yes, some Asian too! Also, some of Chinese 12th century soldiers were dressed up as 15th century European musketeers, Buddha had blue hair and it also included Korean dancing. Cheesy and cheap is the least I can say for the show.

I am disappointed that unintentionally I have financially contributed in a political organization. Shame on Radio city that does not inform us what are we going to see. Too bad for the venue, I guess they have decided to be political these days…

Pros: NONE!
Cons: Falung Dafa political propaganda, cheap, cheesy, nothing Splendor

Truly not spectacular
by jcc2008 at Citysearch
This show was a great disappointment. My husband and I are Chinese Americans, and we thought that this would be a great way to introduce our children to the Chinese Culture. Having been in a Chinese dance troop before, I can tell you that there was nothing Chinese about this show except for the dancers themselves. The costumes were beautiful, but the women on stage were pretty much doing a marching band routine. The underhanded way in which the Falun Gong used this show to promote their cause is truly despicable….I never gave much thought to them, but now knowing that money is funding their cause makes me very mad. I hope that this show has not turned off non-Chinese to the true splendors of China. I will be taking my children to see other shows that are truly Chinese in spirit and hope that they will forget the image of the woman being beaten to death by the police…….the Falun Gong should be ashamed.
Cons: Falun Gong Propaganda

Wanted an evening of Chinese Culture, not indoctrination
by lamiche32 at Citysearch
I agree with the other two posters who had negative reviews. I looked forward to seeing an artistic rendering of cultural celebrations having to do with the Lunar New Year, not simplistic, anti-communist, pro- Falun Dafa propaganda, and felt very defrauded. The entire time the MC’s were touting China’s ancient, 5000 year culture, yet, all they performed was original, western style music with saccharine, falun-dafa promoting themes. I knew very little about this organization before, but whatever complaints they have against the Chinese goverment, this sort of underhanded indoctrination weakens their case. Very disappointed.

Pros: dances, though repetitive, were lovely
Cons: Bland, amateur, us-good, them-bad themes, overtly political agenda inapproriate for occasion

Worst Show Ever for the Price
by jasmine192 at Citysearch

I didn’t have high expectations for the show, and after seeing the first 15 minutes, it was even worst than I had expected. It was mostly Chinese dances (not very well performed), like a school production. Then came all this propaganda about the bad Chinese government and good Falun DaFa, which was absolutely inappropriate for this kind of event. I had no idea it was a political show, it was certainly not advertised that way. I feel completely deceived and left the show before half way just because it was so bad. Overall, a very cheap production.

Pros: none
Cons: too many

Terribly, expensive, misleading propaganda, WASTE OF TIME!!!
by rubabega at Citysearch
It’s one thing to be handed fliers on the street, to receive spam in my InBox, to be shouted at in the subway. But it’s a COMPLETELY different thing to be sold $68 tickets to a “cultural celebration”, a “variety show”, only to realize that I’m sitting through 2 hours of PROPAGANDA! I’m from Mainland China, I’m NOT a communist supporter, and I sympathized with the Falun Gong UNTIL NOW. At least in China, I didn’t have to PAY for propaganda that was coming at me at every direction, and they would not LIE to me and have me pay $68 a ticket to sit for 2 hours in an otherwise reputable venue just to listen to propaganda. Absolutely terrible. I was so offended that I wrote a letter to Radio City asking them to NEVER ever book this show again. Of course, I received no response. DO NOT BUY TICKETS TO SEE THIS SHOW! You will be sitting through hours of “Falun Dafa is Great, Death to the Communist China” and NOTHING about Chinese New Year. To all the media outlets falsely promoting this show: SHAME ON YOU!

Pros: NONE.
Cons: I had to PAY to sit through propaganda!!! I thought this is AMERICA!!!!

What a waste of time!
by jenjenhuntington at Citysearch
This was probably one of the greatest disappointments I have ever experienced in NYC. I watched the commercials and advertisements with such excitement. My neighbor and I paid $400 to bring our daughters to an exciting, colorful, fun, show filled with acrobats, dragons and Chinese dancers. It was campy, and sometimes I felt like I was part of a Godzilla movie. The opera singers were terrible, and everytime they came on (and there were alot of them!), you could hear the groan from the audience. The children were bored, I was bored and I so angry that I sat there for 3 hours! I kept waiting for the finale. I told myself that has to be something spectacular at the end. It never came. We felt ripped off and frustrated. We could have seen a quality Broadway Show for the same money! Don’t waste your time or your money!

If you like opera not well done…
by sweetbetsy at Citysearch
During the ten-minute intermission in this 3 hour show that began ten minutes late, I asked a white American boy out in the lounge how he likes the show and he said, “Awesome.” I’m glad for him. There were at least a half dozen solo opera singers who weren’t all that good singing Chinese songs about truth, compassion, and forbearance and the need to turn away from lies. Speaking of which: Don’t believe the tv ads: There are no acrobatics, no dragons, and no pizzazz. It is opera then a few peaceful dances in pretty silk colors, more opera, a few more peaceful dances that look almost the same but the colors of the silk have changed. Gorgeous scenes of China projected onto a huge scrim. The drumming dances (two of them) were cool. The cast, by the way, is American. This show is not from China. The worst part was the “Caucasian” ringmaster in his tux standing next to the “Oriental” (isn’t that just as politically incorrect as Caucasian?) with his rolling “Ladies and gentleman…” But no circus. What a disappointment. If you are looking for peace and pretty dancing interspersed with not that well done operatic singing, you might enjoy this soporific show.

Great for multicultural audience, but is long and too religious/political.
 by jennycola at Citysearch
The show is about 3 hours long with a 10-minute intermission (information I could not find anywhere before the show). It consists of short dances and songs preceded by introductions and explanation from the hosts (this aspect made the show every attractive for a multicultural audience with little experience with Chinese dance and music).
However, a lot of the dances and songs seemed a bit repetitive (3 hours…a lot could have been cut down). My other complaint is there is too much religion. 1/4 of the dances and songs were about Falun Gong, and another few were about the divine. The songs were about being good and going to heaven, and how Falun must overcome the “red” to freedom. I feel like this is too political to be a good Chinese New Year family show, and too religious to be a Valentines show.
One singer tells us “Fifty years of lies have built this Red Wall…May you be free of the confusion lies have wrought, and not go down together with the Red Crooks.” Another dance shows 3 women who wrote “Falun dafa is good” and are hence beaten inside a prison, and a miracle happens. Another dance shows guys who do something unselfish for buddha and are rewarded.

Pros: In English and Chinese, songs have English subtitles, understandable
Cons: Long, repeptitive, religious, political

by h1ghroller25 at Citysearch
This is a total scam. It’s a cheap boring show. There are no decorations besides the costumes and no special effects whatsoever, besides a cheap low-tech projection screen that they use as a background for each scene. There are one or two decent dances, the rest will put you to SLEEP. They used Radio City and the word “Spectacular” in their title to lure people into what we thought would be like the Christmas Spectacular.

Pros: none

Cons: boring, cheap, no effects

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Disguised man on flight might be a Falun Gong member

28 Jun

Nov. 18 (Kaiwind) –On Oct. 29, a Chinese man who disguised as an elderly white man boarded a flight from Hong Kong to Canada. This case has caused widespread concern of world’s media. The Real Identity of the man might be a Falun Gong member,the AP reported on November 9.

A Hong Kong official who declined to be named told the AP that the imposter is a mainland Chinese citizen, the man likely escaped detection because he used his own travel documents and a genuine boarding pass when clearing immigration checkpoints in Hong Kong, and then swapped travel papers with a collaborator in the transit lounge just before boarding the flight to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Jim Murray, a lawyer for Canada Border Services Agency, said the refugee claimant identified himself as a member of an organization in China and there is concern for the safety of some of the group’s members. He did not specify the group involved.

The man is very concerned that information disclosed at the hearing might become available to Chinese authorities. His lawyer Dan McLeod argued the hearings should be held in the absence of the media, specifically singling out three Chinese media outletsSing Tao, Ming Pao and World Journal. McLeod expressed concern that even if the court barred publication of his client’s name, Chinese media might reveal the information to authorities.

McLeod cited Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas as saying that Sing Tao had been sued by members of Falun Gong, a meditation sect that has been banned in China.”Sing Tao had published an article saying that Falun Gong had advocated the destruction of the world and identified three Falun Gong practitioners,” said McLeod.

But when reporters asked him outside the hearing room if his client was a member of Falun Gong, he said he couldn’t discuss details of the case.

According to, the case has aroused concern of the American authorities, especially the Department of Homeland Security of America. The International Criminal Police Organization also got involved because there may be counter-terrorism issues.

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‘ . . . I’ll teach you how to respond’

28 Jun

AGENT: Susan Liang, owner of New-Asia Immigration Law Centre, Toronto. Neither a lawyer nor a CSIC member.

STAR PROFILE: Male, 32. High-school dropout. Factory worker from Guangzhou, China.

ADVICE: Apply for refugee status, claiming to be a Falun Gong member or a Christian. Join Falun Gong to make claim appear legitimate.

STORY: New-Asia’s ad touts it as an “immigration law centre” that offers “super-cheap” visas but can also do expedited divorces. On the phone with Liang, a reporter poses as someone inquiring on behalf of a relative wanting to stay in Canada. Liang suggests he make a refugee claim, promising to help “find a reason” for it.

In New-Asia’s office, atop a steep set of stairs above the din of Chinatown’s shopping district, the reporter, now playing the migrant, explains his situation. Liang, a tiny woman with short black hair, wire-rimmed glasses and a friendly face, marvels at his ability to acquire a visitor’s visa for a cousin’s wedding. It’s a hard thing for mainland Chinese citizens to do.

“Some came through the smugglers,” she remarks while preparing documents on another client’s file. “But you have to be mentally prepared. It’s tough in Canada.”

She suggests there are two ways to stay: get married or claim refugee status.

“I’ll explain to you the refugee process. First, I’ll take you to file a refugee,” she says. “You’ll get it in a week. To know what to say, you have to follow my instructions. Whatever they ask, I’ll teach you how to respond.
“Let me make it up for you. Now,” she explains, ” there can be two claims: one is Falun Gong; one is Christian. Both work.”

Star: “Do I have to answer questions or will you answer them for me?”

Liang: “You have to answer all the questions, but I’ll teach you. All you need to do is to sign it. It’s very simple. When you go and file a refugee claim, they will ask you a few simple questions. Then they accept it and give you a piece of `refugee paper’ …

“Then you have to wait for the hearing, and you can get $500 welfare a month … You will be covered for health care, you can go to school for free …”

Star: “What’s the success rate?”

Liang: “Recently it’s high. It’s low in 2006. It’s been high in 2007. I’m not sure what will happen to you, but you appear to be quite smart. It shouldn’t be a problem. Just respond to the questions properly.”

Star: “You will help?”

Liang: “I’ll train you, including a lawyer. I’ll help you with your story.” The reporter expresses concern that he’s not familiar with Falun Gong or Christianity. Liang suggests that he actually join Falun Gong after filing the application. There will be time to learn, she says. “I’ll teach you.”

Star: “But what would happen if they find out I am not a real refugee? Would they jail me?”

Liang, laughing: “Unless you tell them. No matter what, say that you’re a refugee. They won’t go to China to investigate. They don’t have connections in China …”

Star: “I’m afraid …”

Liang: “No, no, no, are you kidding? You will succeed and get your Maple Leaf (permanent resident) card.”

Total cost: $1,500 – a special price, she says, since the client doesn’t look like he has much money.

She says marriage is an option, but not as good as the refugee route, and she again assures, “You can use either Falun Gong or Christian …

“I’ll start making up the story for you from this moment. They just want to see if you are credible. It’s very easy.”

EPILOGUE: When informed of the secret shopping mission, Liang was angry. Why, she asked, did the Star reporter not disclose his identity and intentions?

Liang then said that she hardly remembered the encounter and was busy, and she proceeded to cut off the phone call.

The Star made several attempts to contact Liang. On a visit, reporters found her at her desk. She rose, said she was going to lunch and had no time to answer questions. She also refused to accept a letter requesting comment, placing it on the floor outside her office.

“I’m a Canadian citizen,” she said in English. “I know my human rights.”

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