|Shun Yen and Falun Gong, once more|
One more thing about Shun Yen. Their pitch is that they produce performances that draw on and therefore promote 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Maybe. They have dances based on various Chinese myths and legends, like Monkey's Journey to the West, and on ethnic Chinese communities, but there are also contemporary dance pieces and, scattered throughout something very, very odd.
The contemporary pieces feature a common theme. Black clad police thugs with red hammer and sickle insignia on their shirts. They beat senseless the gentle, meditating citizens who hold up a sign that says Falun Dafa is Good. Yes, Chinese police have beaten Falun Dafa or Falun Gong members and persecuted them. That's not at issue here, but, again, I paid $90 a ticket to see several dance numbers that were propaganda against the Chinese government.
There was no balance here, no context, no alerting the audience to the fact that this was their intention.
These vignettes, I think there were four, were not the oddest part of the evening however. Four times during the performance the dancers would remain off stage and a Steinway, a big black concert Steinway, and either a tuxedoed male singer or a formal gown clad female singer, all Chinese, would sing short verses, maybe they were songs, that declared some piece of Falun Dafa dogma.
Shun Yen pitches themselves as promoting 5,000 years of Chinese culture, yet they present their most important numbers (based on their intentions) in an almost absurd parody of Western classical song-poems. They struck a very dissonant note to this audience member.