Very mixed thoughts on “Shen Yun”

13 Dec

I am really shocked today to be reporting that I was not completely thrilled with “Shen Yun.” I thought I would sing its praises today. Yes, it is BEAUTIFUL. Beyond visually stunning. The dancing and music and costumes – absolutely amazing.

But, there is a problem with it…

The problem is that there is a “Falun Dafa (Falun Gong)” agenda woven through the whole performance that is not revealed in any of the “Shen Yun Performing Arts” advertising. At all. They do give a little glimpse of their mission statement on their website, but there is nothing mentioned about “Falun Dafa”. The only reason I understand so much about this movement now is because I have done some reading about it since last night. One of the things I’ve read about this movement is that the founder promotes racism and the hatred of homosexuals. I am also reading that there are many people out there that believe that Falun Dafa is a cult. And I found this website singing the praises of “Shen Yun.” Obviously if we had known all of this, we may or may not have gone to the show. I’m not sure. Believe me, I have no problem with people expressing their beliefs. We live in a free country and you can believe and express what you want to. What I am upset about is the hidden agenda of this show. We were not given all the information regarding the show in the advertising so that Doug and I were able to make a completely informed decision whether to see this show with our daughter or not.

Doug and I brought our three year old child to this performance looking to share and enjoy traditional Chinese culture with her. I would say three-fourths of the show was mainly beautiful, traditional Chinese dance numbers. But, there were three songs sung during the show by opera singers and all the songs had a persecution-type tone to them (subtitles were being shown in English on the backdrop of the stage). And there were two dance performances that included people being persecuted by the Chinese government for practicing their beliefs (now I know Falun Dafa) – which included pretend kicking, hitting and even death. Yes, the death of a mother in front of her child for practicing her beliefs. (Oh – child was kicked and hit too.) Luckily, Briana is still too young to understand really what was going on.

So, if you decide to see this show – go with the knowledge that there is FAR more behind it than is let on. I am very, very disappointed today about all of this. That aside, the dance performances themselves were beautiful.

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