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Chinese Embassy’s Interference Repeatedly Failed, Shen Yun Performances at Athens Go On

Posted by Author on June 8, 2010

By Joshua Philipp & Gary Feuerberg, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 8, 2010 –

Seemingly wherever Shen Yun, a show of classical Chinese dance and music touring the world, appears, officials of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) seek to block it from performing. Nonetheless, nearly all of the hundreds of performances have taken place on schedule.

Cancellations have occurred in countries that were part of the former Soviet Union—Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, and Romania—or where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has strong leverage, such as in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

Two performances of the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts in Greece on June 4 and 5 nearly didn’t happen. The details are unique to Athens, but the story is similar to other venues.

On May 21, exactly two weeks before the first scheduled performance, the Falun Dafa Association of Greece, the sponsor of the show, discovered that the ticket sales for Shen Yun were disrupted. The Athens Music Hall did not inform them about stopping ticket sales, but the sponsor became suspicious when they were no longer getting daily updates.

Soon thereafter, the sponsor received a faxed message from the Athens Music Hall, saying that the shows had to be “postponed” due to technical problems at the venue, which could only be fixed between June 1 and 7—a period that included the days of the scheduled Shen Yun performances.

At first, the theater would not specify the “technical problem.” Later, they disclosed it as a ventilation problem. No explanation was provided as to why the alleged ventilation problem could not be fixed prior to the Shen Yun shows, as the theater’s calendar indicated several days with no scheduled performances beforehand.

It is not hard to surmise where the pressure to “postpone,” which would have meant canceling the shows, came from. Greece has been in an economic crisis with a $300 billion debt. On the day the sponsor of Shen Yun learned that their shows would be “postponed,” Reuters reported that China Ocean Shipping Group (COSCO) would go ahead with investments to modernize Piraeus Port as part of a 3.4 billion euro concession deal with Greece.

According to Greek media reports, the spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Association of Greece said that COSCO’s president and senior managers met with Greek politicians at the theater on the same day, May 31.

In the end, the theater backed down, and the performances went on at the scheduled times. One of the dancers wrote to The Epoch Times that Shen Yun performers held a long meeting with the theater’s management, explaining in depth the role played by the CCP. After that meeting, the theater allowed them to proceed with the shows and indicated that they absolutely did not want to get involved in political matters. …… (more details from The Epochtimes)

Related:
– (video)  Shen Yun in Europe 2009: Reviews, Comments and Feedback from Audience

One Response to “Chinese Embassy’s Interference Repeatedly Failed, Shen Yun Performances at Athens Go On”

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