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Review of Shen Yun

2010-08-10 Author:By: Steven Rowe

Not quite sure what to say about Shen Yun. I just assumed that they were a group from China and I was going to see something quite cultural and parts of it was. However, to me it turned out to be something between a propaganda and evangelical message.
Firstly they were from New York and stated that some of the things seen in the show hadn't been seen in China for a long time...probably because they were banned! The group that was at the center of the show were followers of Falun Gong who are oppressed in China and are spreading their message round the world through this show. They aren't described as a religion but more spiritual.
On reading some more about the group the supposed person who started the movement is very anti-gay and against mixed race relationships [source: BBCh2g2]. This made a little sick that I had actually paid money to see the show…and in expensive seats as well. Despite the anti-gay comments of the leader I can't see any other evidence of homophobic messages from them right now.
The singers were really awful – talk about chalk on a blackboard. The dancers were better and enjoyed couple of scene's where the male dancers dressed in punk and prison guard uniforms.
All in all the show was ok, not great, but feel a little cheated about the context – that they didn't specify who the group was in more detail. This Guardian newspaper had a good review. I think I prefer the State Circus.

Original text from: http://blog.stevenrowe.org/?p=478