Aug 31 2013

Suspicious Burglary of Shen Yun Choreographer’s House

Award-winning dancer Chen Yungchia has been a principal dancer and one of Shen Yun’s key choreographers since he joined the company in 2007. On the evening of August 22, he returned from work at Shen Yun’s New York headquarters to his nearby home in Otisville to find that it had been ransacked. Gone were two laptops and a DVD player that looked like a computer. Not stolen, however, were an expensive watch, gold jewelry, as well as his passport and green card.

Chen believes the break-in was carried out by agents of the Chinese Communist Party, or someone hired by them, and had two purposes:

First, the robbers (or robber) were not after money but after information – most likely inside information about Shen Yun. Sensitive data might include lists of performers, especially those with PRC nationality and family back in China, or industry secrets such as Shen Yun’s special digital projection effects. They might also have been after hints of his upcoming choreography projects; PRC-based performing arts companies have been known to stage programs with themes similar to Shen Yun’s shortly after Shen Yun produces them.

Second, Chen told me he thinks the daytime break-in was also meant to send a message – we are watching you! He found his belongings strewn all over almost as if to scare him. They entered through a back window that does not face the street and also seemed to know the exact date to break in. Normally his son would have been home from school for the summer, but that particular day he was attending dance camp.

Perhaps Chen and his family were fortunate not to be home. The incident is reminiscent of a break-in that took place in 2006 in an Atlanta suburb. Dr. Peter Yuan Li, a Falun Gong practitioner and technology specialist who was part of a team working to free China’s Internet through proxy servers, was beaten in his home as Asian robbers went exclusively after his computers and documents. They left his daughter’s jewelry and camcorder, and left Dr. Li with 15 stitches.

According to the Forbes article “When All Else Fails: Threats”:

“The two first men who pushed their way into his home in the Atlanta suburb were armed with a knife and gun and spoke Korean, Li tells Forbes. But once they had taped his eyes and bound him, Li says he heard another one or two men enter his house. One of these men spoke to him in Mandarin and demanded to know where he kept his “locker” and documents. The intruders ransacked the house and forced open locked file cabinets. After the men left, Li was able to escape into the street, where a neighbor was able to help him and call the police.”

Feb 24 2013

New Wave of Email Attacks on Theaters

The Patron Manager at Denver’s Buell Theatre told local presenter Vivian Lam that the theater had been receiving emails from people posing as Falun Dafa practitioners and Shen Yun fans. At least one of Buell’s management personnel received these emails almost every day.

In a repetition of a tactic used in 2010 (New Jersey, Rhode Island, and California), the content of these emails consisted of a misrepresentation of Falun Dafa’s beliefs. The apparent motivation was to scare the theater by portraying Falun Dafa practitioners and Shen Yun fans as zealots.

No one in the Falun Dafa community is known to have sent them. The emails, though daily, were sent from different accounts each time.

The local presenter responded to the theater as follows: “I am the only contact window between the Presenter and the Theater. All of our members know about this and they are not allowed to contact you directly without my written approval.”

A few months earlier, in Ohio, staff at Cincinnati Theater received several rounds of emails similar (possibly identical, though this has not been tested as the theater did not provide copies) to the ones in received in Denver (see above).

Local presenter Dr. Sunny Lu reported the incident to the FBI, who told her the emails originated in China.

Aug 27 2012

Chinese Dancers Not Allowed to Compete in Hong Kong

Starting in 2007, the NY-based New Tang Dynasty Television has been holding the International Classical Chinese Dance Competition on a mostly annual basis. Shen Yun dancers figure prominently in these competitions and often win top prizes. Some contestants from China have been able to participate, but more often they have been blocked and even arrested.

This year, for the first time, NTD held a preliminary round in Hong Kong. Twenty-six contestants from mainland China were blocked by Beijing. They were either harassed and intimidated in China, or blocked at the border with the semi-autonomous city.

During the competition, a pro-Chinese Communist Party crowd surrounded the venue, shouting slogans and displaying banners. Witnesses described the scene as “totally crazy.”

The Chinese Communist Party has not publicly explained why it is sabotaging a traditional Chinese dance competition. It might have to do with a combination of Shen Yun’s dominance at these competitions and a fear performers will try to defect to the U.S. to join the N.Y.-based company.

For more, see:

NTD Press Release

The Epoch Times: “A Dance Competition Threatens a Regime”

Dancers Banned from Celebrating China’s Heritage

Apr 20 2012

Seattle’s King5 TV Reports

“The Chinese government has asked Seattle’s elected leaders to skip an upcoming performance by a New York-based Chinese-American dance troupe,” reports Seattle’s King5 News.

The request was made in a letter from the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to Seattle City Council Members. According to <a href=””>King5 News</a>, the letter wrote that Shen Yun is, “an evil cult that preaches heretical fallacies and exercises extreme mental manipulation… and has for years engaged in anti-China activities in the United States.”

A copy of letter has been obtained and is available upon request.

Feb 15 2012

London Coliseum Not Intimidated

Local presenter representative and University of Reading professor Li Shao reported that the Chinese Embassy in London dispatched staff to visit the London Coliseum, where Shen Yun was scheduled to perform, in attempt to convince the theater to renege on the contract. Local presenters also said the Embassy had visited the London Coliseum the previous year as well, both before and after the Shen Yun performances, asking the theater to stop renting the venue to Shen Yun. The Coliseum rented the venue anyway and held the performances.

“I know the Chinese Communist Party tried to stop Shen Yun from performing in Romania last year,” said Member of European Parliament Gerard Batten. “It’s an absolute disgrace that they are trying to use strong arm tactics here in the UK.”

Shen Yun “is about presenting this moral point of view in a very elegant way,” said London-based China author Ethan Gutmann, “with beautiful costumes and sculpted dances and bringing people through Chinese history in a fun way. The Chinese government envies that, they want that – they’ve been looking for soft power for a long time.”


The Epoch Times: Beijing’s Battle for Soft Power Playing Out in the West End

May 25 2010

Beijing Leads Ukrainian Officials to Try to Cancel Cultural Performance

The Epoch Times

By Andrey Volkov On May 24, 2010 @ 2:53 am In Europe

KYIV, Ukraine—By putting pressure on Ukrainian authorities, Chinese diplomats may cause the cancellation of a performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts, which was scheduled for May 28 at a theater in Odessa, in southern Ukraine. Shen Yun is a New York based company that is currently on tour around the world.

Some of the show’s performers were denied visas to enter Ukraine, and were given no explanation.

An organization run by Odessa regional Council “Oblconcerteservice,” has informed the Shen Yun show organizer in Ukraine, charity organization “For Children of the New Century,” that the agreement to rent the venue in Odessa Academic and Ballet Theatre has been suspended.

The letter says that Chinese officials have requested Odessa regional council cancel the Shen Yun performance in Odessa.
“It is categorical for the show not to take place. In such situation the juridical details—whether the contract had been broken or suspended—mean the same,” Dmitry Polunin, the head of Oblconcerteservice, told The Epoch Times.

Based in New York, Shen Yun Performing Arts is a nonprofit organization that is independent of China’s communist regime. Through classical Chinese dance, the performing arts group seeks to revive the five-millennia-old artistic tradition of China that was largely destroyed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Cultural Revolution.

Since 2006, the company has performed more than 500 shows around the world to millions of audience members.

OperaOnline said the show “gave a glimpse of a culture and its history that was at times hypnotic in its presentation, sensual in its fluid movements, and inspirational in its theme … and flawless musical performances … simply astounding to watch and a pleasure to the ear.”

The CCP regularly puts pressure on authorities in most of the countries where the show performs. Pressure usually comes through the use of its consulates, embassies, and community organizations, and aims to cancel the show.

Shen Yun takes as its mission to revive China’s artistic tradition that thrived before decades of suppression by the CCP. The show also includes dance programs set in contemporary China that portray the persecution of Falun Gong—a peaceful meditation practice persecuted by the regime since 1999. These portrayals are an irritant for CCP diplomats.

Polunin said that there was a letter from Ukraine’s foreign ministry requesting his organization not assist the Shen Yun show in Odessa. He said it was because of “political” issues.

Odessa officials told The Epoch Times in a private conversation that they also received letters from the Ukrainian prime minister, the minister of culture, and the head of the national security service not to let the show perform.

An Epoch Times reporter met with Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine Vladimir Seminozhenko, whose negative letter was among those from the top officials, to ask him about the situation. He denied any government involvement in the interference with the performance.

Ukrainian officials say that the pressure is connected to the official visit of China’s foreign minister, Yang Jieqi to Kyiv last week.

International Support

Vice President of European Parliament Edward McMillan-Scott has sent a letter to ask Ukraine’s president to let the Shen Yun perform in Ukraine.

Some members of Ukrainian Parliament, and members of the U.S. Congress also sent letters to Ukrainian officials to assist Shen Yun Performing Arts.

Human rights advocates have also condemned the Chinese diplomats’ interference with domestic affairs in Ukrainian. “This is brutal intervention and we can’t agree with it,” said Evgeniy Zakharov, the head of Kharkov human rights group in Ukraine.

Zakharov commented that the Chinese officials behave the same way as Soviet authorities who physically destroyed art and elements of culture. “Ukraine should respond if it considers itself to be a European civilized country,” he said.

Two performances of Shen Yun were canceled in Kyiv in April, last year, under the same scenario. Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not grant visas to the show’s performers and the president’s office made the dates which Shen Yun was scheduled to perform unavailable at the country’s renowned theater, the National Palace Ukraine. Ukraine’s top officials declined to speak with The Epoch Times or the show’s organizers.

May 18 2010

Pictures of consulate visiting Munich’s Tonicale

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin and her colleague visiting Munich's Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin and her colleague visiting Munich’s Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin (left) and her colleague visiting Munich's Tonicale Concert Agency.

Vice-consular Wang Yanmin (left) and her colleague visiting Munich’s Tonicale Concert Agency.

May 18 2010

Letter from EU VP to the Ukrainian PM


Jan 25 2010

CESNUR - center for studies on new religions

Media and New Religious Movements: The Case of Falun Gong

by Leeshai Lemish
A paper presented at The 2009 CESNUR Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 11-13, 2009


“Which is the world’s largest group of prisoners of conscience – that is, peopled jailed for their beliefs or views?” Few educated media consumers in the West know the correct answer. It is Falun Gong adherents jailed in China; and it’s not even close. Continue reading

Jan 24 2010


A Chinese trek from Israel to California Center for the Arts

By Leeshai Lemish

ESCONDIDO, California–What’s an Israeli doing in a Chinese show? I’m asked this almost as often as I’m asked, when checking in at the airport alongside a hundred Chinese dancers and musicians – “Are you part of this group?”

The answer to the latter question is: “No, and yes.” Continue reading