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Don't fall for it!


Editor's note: Falun Gong promotes Shen Yun performance using false advertisements. Many net friends all over the world express their feelings on the net of Yelp after watching the performance. They say the performance is advocating Falun Gong in the guise of traditional Chinese arts and warn people not be duped.


(Rocklin, CA)david h.:

Not for the money...

Saw it in Sactoe, seemed lazy...

I'd really hoped to see something better, and although the dancers were excellent (truly. Reviewers who are down on them don't appreciate the difficulty of their maneuvers) with difficult choreography that looked good, the costumes were boring, only two of the soloists impressed (and they certainly did), and the pit was S***.

Some ringers held ensemble together a bit.

There were some good "beauty of china" pieces throughout, and some decent traditional ethnic pieces(stylistically, not literally), however the WESTERN influence was WAY too strong, and the propaganda piece through everyone off. The lyrics of the soloists had the poetry of a 4 year old with a crayon up it's nose in some places. PROPAGANDA.

With Tiananmen sq as a backdrop they expressed religious persecution which does exist, however, one good thing about the CHINESE GOVT is that they would not have allowed THAT PIECE to be performed. That piece ruined the show.

The rest of the show didn't make sense to me, but if you consider the organization, then perhaps it does. The pro-religious anti-atheist sentiment didn't strike me much, at least no more than "The Messiah", so I was not offended. China has a rich heritage of creating successful art which is also propaganda, so that was the part that disappointed me the most... the poeticism.

I'm mad to have wasted the money, and I got the cheapest seats in the place. Would have been worth 15$ tickets in a decent section. Replace the bad propaganda with some good propaganda and you've got a show. Also GET SOME REAL MUSICIANS!

(Berkeley, CA)Yushan K.:

Warning by buying tickets to this show, you are supporting a political group, Falun Dafa.  Just thought you'd like to know.

I fully embrace and love all cultures, religions, and beliefs. As long as you don't try to evangelize me, I am perfectly willing to accept just about anything to learn about and appreciate diversity. But that ends when you have a graphic and violent dance number depicting evil communist soldiers beating a mother in front of a little kid daughter. And it looks worse than it sounds. If that isn't enough to convince you this is not a family show, I don't know what is. We should be teaching our children acceptance and coexistence, not fear of what is strange or different. Yes, China is a communist country, get over it. Communism does not equate to evilness. The China of today is a beautifully evolving, changing, and growing nation, and no one can deny its many problems. But seriously, propaganda like this just makes my head hurt. Maybe I'm just overdue for a visit with Gandhi and Mandela, but my initial what-would-i-do-if-i-were-part-of-an-oppressed-group gut says: doesn't it make sense to fight oppression with truth, rather than more propaganda?

As a citizen of the world, I am deeply offended by the delivery of the message of this show.  Saying this show represents "classical Chinese dance and music" is a bit like having Jack Kevorkian do standup comedy while representing the American Medical Association.  Whether the figurehead in question is right or wrong is up to your personal core beliefs, but don't let the pretty lady on the posters deceive you - this show is rife with unabashed religious and political statements.

As an American citizen, I am all for the First Amendment, so who am I to say that this show shouldn't be allowed to run.  All I ask is that there should be a big fat disclaimer on those pretty posters stating exactly what you're in for: a show about Falun Dafa, not about Chinese culture.  This is deceptive advertising at its worst.  Someone who is close to me took me to this show, and we were both duped.  By the second half of the show, I was cringing in my seat.  Six months later, I am still offended and angry that we weren't told what it was about until way too late.

(Torrance, CA)alvin h.:

We saw the one in Los Angeles, and was very disappointed with what we experienced.  This show is not very exciting at all, Dancers looked like they were straight from China, costumes were ok...

Both my parents and myself and my family and sister watched this show.  We all agreed that it was definitely not worth the amount of money we paid to see it.

The show also included political scenes which to me, is not considered quality entertainment.  Many of the people sitting around me, mostly Caucasians, left at the intermission; which was probably a good idea.

Yikes is all I have to say.

(San Jose, CA)Linda T.:

CAUTION: The Shen Yun Performing Arts is a Falun Dafa/Falun Gong propaganda show. We were tricked into thinking this was wholesome family entertainment. Throughout the entire show, my family and I were assaulted by highly inappropriate political imagery and religious songs. One dance in particular featured a mother being beaten to death in front of her daughter. I'm all for human rights in China, but this was completely unexpected and unwarranted.

The dancing itself was mediocre and under all the pretty makeup and dresses I noticed more than a few dancers had balance issues. Surprising since, according to the program, most of them had won numerous championships and awards on NTDTV. I later found out that NTDTV and The Epoch Times (where many of the rave reviews were cited) are owned by the Falun Gong organization. The only redeeming parts of the show was the Xiaochun Qi (erhu) and Hong Ming (tenor) performance. Both were technically on point and their performances were awe inspiring. In spite of this, the show's low production value and high ticket prices ($70~) are a deal breaker. And I agree with whoever said that the dancers were completely stiff and robotic. Creepy, creepy stuff.

(Oakland, CA) Elana K.:

The quality of dancing, skill of the performers and choreographers, and the costume designers definitely deserve 5 stars. However, the fact that this show is simply propaganda for Falun Dafa/Falun Gong deserves 1 star.

The show started out with some beautiful dance sequences and an opera piece with religious lyrics. I'm thinking, ok, a little out of place but the dancing is pretty...

..But then the bilingual announcers/MCs came on stage and introduced a dance piece that represented how Falun Dafa-practicing Chinese are being abused in present-day China, replete with the khaki-wearing "good" Chinese praying, and then being stun-gunned in a dance move by the black and red hammer and sickle motorcycle-jacket wearing "bad" Chinese. Not kidding. Ridiculous, but somehow actually kind of entertaining.

As we walked out of the theater I asked my husband if we had just gone through a religious conversion ceremony.

If you're not averse to outright religious propaganda, then definitely go for the pretty costumes and beautiful dancing.

(San Jose, CA ) Sam L.:

You know, the performance was okay, the price for a ticket was expensive, about $70 bucks. The thing that gets me, that irritates me to point of violation is that I feel tricked/duped. Yes this show has historical Chinese dance, some acrobats, but no where did I sign up to listen to 4 hours of Falun Gong propaganda - anti commie stuff.

Its not that I agree or disagree with the message, its the fact that I bought these tickets expecting classical / folk Chinese performance only to get a political message with creepy graphics and costumes. I feel gypped, as if my money went to supporting a cult or something.

(Santa Clara, CA) Cyn L.:

The marketing and charging for the show borders FRAUD!!  The set may look OK in the marketing pictures but it is a low budget projection and looks horrible in reality.  The quality of the entire production was terrible.  This is an attempt to push their political and religious propaganda.

NO money back even if you walk out of the show!!!

Dancing  F
Overall performance F
Choreography F
Costumes  F
Set Design  F
Propaganda for the Falun Dafa/Falun Gong deserves an A+

(Mountain View, CA) tex t.:

The dancers and choreography were mediocre. More significantly, the show has a strong religious and political agenda in support of Falun Gong. The ads are misleading to say the show is about traditional dance, since the music is westernized and there is a political agenda.

It was very expensive for what they provided and I am very angry that my cash went to a religious and political organization and that I had to suffer through their propaganda in the name of performing arts.

(San Francisco, CA) Matsuo U.:

Yup it was bad. Very very corny (sp?) and political and amateurish.... to the point it was almost funny. Didn't pay to see a comedy, but that is what it turned out to be ... just a bad joke.

2X $ 95, all of the 1 & 2 Star reviews were my experience as well.

Probably they have moved on to their next victim city by now.

(North Vancouver, BC Canada) NOrthshoreMama M.:

This is by far one of the most disappointing shows I have seen in a LONG time.  Went to this as it was billed as a brilliant, inspiring show, a "cirque du soleil" type experience.  It was nothing of the sort.  It neither had the inspiration, artistry nor talent that Cirque du Soleil has.  The stage direction was god awful.  Every act (appx 5 minutes) the curtain closed for a stage reset (there were no sets, so not sure what they were setting).  And two overly animated and poorly trained actors came out on stage to introduce the next act.  They mugged, and cracked bad and tired jokes in an effort to get some energy out of the crowd.

Each act was the same dancing, the same moves, to different music and different costumes.  Interspersed were a few opera singers who sang religious songs, denigrating atheists and glorifying "believers".

The whole show felt like a feeble attempt to wrap up some half baked religious messages into a circus show that fell short on all levels.  I felt utterly sorry for the people who came with their children... most of whom were screaming out of boredom after 10 minutes.

(San Francisco, CA) Paul C.:

This was an interesting experience, to be sure.  But not one I'll ever repeat, and not one that I would ever suggest someone cough up $60 to have.

First off, this is part of a propaganda campaign by the Falun Gong, but there is no mention of this made anywhere in the advertising.  Once the show begins, you'll know because they pretty much beat you over the head with the message for the next 3 hours.  Yes, 3 hours.  And for the truly obtuse, the message is displayed in 10 foot titles on the bizarre technicolor screen at one point towards the end of the show, "Falun Dafa is Good!"

The dancing was pretty cool, the music was OK.  Costumes were nice, the animated screen was totally bizarre.  The emcees were equally bizarre - sort of robotic and stiff.  And, again, three hours. Ouch.

Of course, it is horrible that the Falun Gong is persecuted in China, even if they are a cult, as some claim.  But, as with anything political or religious, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth to be fooled into donating or into sitting through 3 hours of proselytization.

(San Francisco, CA)chelsey g.:

Yikes! It was like a weird creepy cult dance. I thought it was going to be some awesome acrobatic, chinese dance and drum show. The opera singers were horrible. The sets and the lighting were poor, and I just felt weird. I was so let down. ): We left after 45 minutes.

(Sunnyvale, CA)Peter R.:

Avoid this 'show' like the plague, and save your money!  Don't believe what the brochure claims...they are FALSE!  This 'show' claims to be entertainment, but it's NOTHING of the sort.  It's merely a propaganda put on by the cult Falun Gong (http://en.wikipedia.or...).  Honestly, I don't care what people practices, but I don't appreciate having another person's cultish 'religion' pushed on me for 2 hours!!!  This 'show' masks its brain-washing agendas with a few badly performed so called traditional Chinese dances.  Again, avoid at all cost.  I would have given it zero stars, but unfortunately, Yelp does not support that. 

What an evil show!  I WANT MY MONEY BACK!

(Hercules, CA)Tiffany W.:

Definitely don't recommend this show.  The dancing/choreography wasn't impressive, and the religious and political propaganda totally ruined the show.  The only good thing about it was the music.  Way too much money, way too long, and way too boring.

(San Francisco, CA)Mark H.:

The main event is to sell Falun Gong and I guess this is what these folks are about: deception. I paid $85x 2 expecting a real show and got this thrown in my face. I am sorry for the performers who put together a bunch of nice routines, but then, I figure they were in on this mass deception. Once bit, twice shy. Commercial religion. I hear that the secret backers of this religion are really corporations who want to get their way against the current government in China. I guess I got caught in the cross fire.

(Redwood City, CA)Jerry B.:

I have a different take on the performance. We were given tickets and went to the show today. I have to say the costumes, colors, singing, and dancing were very good. Unfortunately they were all geared to their religious agenda. If I want a sermon I'll go to church. Their brand of propaganda was much too intrusive and could not be separated from nearly every dance or song. If I had known this was their agenda I would never have gone.



Original text from: http://www.yelp.com/biz/shen-yun-performing-arts-san-francisco