Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Falun Gong Show Returns to the SF Opera House



The San Francisco Opera House was surrounded by buses belonging to the Falun Gong sect all last week as a touring company performed their strange "Shen Yun Spectacular" which involves political and religious propaganda enhanced by music, dancing, projections, and lots of sequins and scarves and lasers.



According to Colin Dabkowski writing in The Buffalo News, the formula hasn't changed much since Sidney Chen and I stumbled across the show back in 2007. Dabkowski writes in a 2010 review, "I hesitate to delve too deply into the artistic merits of such an unconscionable misuse of the ancient art of Chinese dance, but in the interest of fairness I will offer this: Imagine what it might be like to watch a synchronized swimming team perform in front of a gigantic Windows 95 screen-saver. That should give you a pretty good idea of where "Shen Yun" ranks on the artistic merit scale."



The oddest detail this year were the hundreds of middle-aged Chinese Americans handing out flyers advertising the show for months beforehand all over the neighborhood, and the Falun Gong security guards standing beside the buses giving passersby paranoid looks while you walked down the sidewalk. Their behavior did not inspire trust.

5 comments:

Richiestreasure said...

Colin Dabowski is one of the very few and negligible people who are even further politicising an already touchy theatrical performance.

It's pretty obvious that he is a liar if he describes the backgrounds as Windows 95, and as a synchronised swimming team - neither Windows 95 nor synchronised movements were performed. The analogy is completely inaccurate and untrue.

What's so strange about middle-aged Chinese Americans handing out flyers? Of course they will have security people near the performers, and I'm sure the number of them was far less than Katy Perry or other celebrities usually use.

It's also incorrect to call Falun Gong a sect. It's neither related to religion, nor a structured organisation with leaders, membership or compulsory activities - everything's voluntarily organised, free for all to participate in and free of charge.

You really need to get your facts straight: www.faluninfo.net

Jana said...

just another 50 cent micro blogger from the Chinese communist regime pretending to know everything but actually knowing completely nothing!!

JOHN. D said...

FUNNY, I SAW THE SHOW LAST YEAR AND REALLY LIKED IT. MY KIDS LOVED IT! I DIDN'T NOTICE ANY PROSELYTIZING AT ALL. NO ONE CAME UP TO ME TO JOIN FALUN GONG. THE SHOW ITSELF WAS REALLY BEAUTIFUL.

SOME SKITS DID USE FALUN GONG AS A BACKDROP, AND THE MESSAGES WERE QUITE POWERFUL AND POSITIVE.

AS FOR FALUN GONG, FROM ALL THE YEARS OF THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT BEING BRANDED THE #1 HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSER IN THE WORLD AND KILLING THEIR OWN PEOPLE AND TRYING TO HIDE IT UP BY USING "POLITICS," OR "SEPARATISM", OR "CULT" AS THEIR EXCUSE, I BELIEVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING THEY SAY.

AMERICANS SHOULD NOT BE SO GULLIBLE OR MANIPULATED TO HATE SOMETHING JUST BECAUSE THE COMMUNIST REGIME SAYS THEY ARE BAD.

Michael Strickland said...

Wow, that's the first time I've been called a "50 cent micro blogger from the Chinese communist regime." I have no feelings one way or another about Falun Gong other than that there's something disturbingly cultish about its members, as the responses above so aptly demonstrate.

Hattie said...

My aversion to the clamor of Chinese music and dance and garish special effects would have kept me away from this one!