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Ben Baltes: Shen Yun show was religious rally veiled as cultural experience

2012-04-25 Author:By Ben Baltes

Dear Editor:

My family attended the Shen Yun performance at the Overture Center last night. We have celebrated Chinese culture, holidays, and festivals in our family since we brought our daughter home from China.

We expected to revel in the "reviving of 5,000 years of civilization" promoted through newspaper, mall kiosks and brochures. We saw some beautiful dancing, but overall, we were given a two-hour propaganda message promoting the Falun Gong religious sect. The introductions, many of the interpretive dances, lyrics, etc., were largely geared toward the oppression of the Falun Gong.

Furthermore, none of the costumes depicted on the brochure, the posters, nor in the book shown to us at the mall kiosk were part of the show. The backdrops were digitally produced with interesting transitions, but not what I would expect from a show with this kind of price tag. We wondered on the way home where the $250 we spent to see this show actually went?

We have no problem with the plight of the Falun Gong and fully support religious freedom. However, we feel like we were duped into a religious rally veiled as a cultural experience. We won't be going back next year.

Ben Baltes
Sun Prairie



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