On January 7, the Puro Arte Humano Association received an official communication from the Teatro Real that the performances planned by the company Shen Yun Performing Arts for January 31st and February 2nd had to be suddenly cancelled for “unavoidable artistic reasons”.
At the same time and without leaving room for a technical solution, the theater proceeded to block the sale of tickets that, according to its own reports, already had more than 700 seats sold and called the representatives of Puro Arte Humano (hereinafter PAH) to a meeting on the following day, January 8, to negotiate the terms of cancellation of the contract signed by both parties on December 1, 2018.
About Shen Yun and its promoter in Spain, Puro Arte Humano:
- Shen Yun in a non-profit classical dance company based in New York that was born with the mission of recovering the enormous cultural wealth of the millenarian Chinese civilization that has been deliberately and systematically exterminated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since it came to power in 1949.
- Shen Yun is a true cultural phenomenon and has toured every year since its founding in 2006 in the best theaters in more than 150 cities around the world, including New York’s Lincoln Center, Berlin’s Deutsche Opera or Washington’s Kennedy Center.
- PAH, promoter of Shen Yun in Spain, is a non-profit organization whose volunteers, barely 50 people, dedicate their efforts since 2014 to making it possible for the Spanish public to enjoy the magic of Shen Yun every year.
- Shen Yun has performed in a full house in Barcelona since 2014 and for five years at the Teatro Nacional de Catalunya and the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
- There is no economic interest in Shen Yun’s project, both the promoters and the dance company are non-profit entities that reinvest the benefits of the tour in the Fei Tian Academy of Arts to continue training artists and thus ensure the continuity of this precious cultural legacy.
Shen Yun 2019 Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H-kYoczCp0
On the pressure from the Chinese embassy
- Since its inception, Shen Yun Performing Arts has met with the permanent boycott of the diplomatic corps of the Chinese regime in every city in which it operates around the world. (See record of interferences on the web Who is afraid of Shen Yun?)
- Threats, pressure or blackmail are just some of the tactics used by the Chinese regime to try to impede the performances of Shen Yun.
- In 2014, according to El Mundo, representatives of the Chinese consulate in Barcelona went to the National Theatre of Catalonia demanding the cancellation of Shen Yun’s performances.
- On that occasion, both the TNC management and the political leaders of the Generalitat did not give in to the pressure and the show was finally not only performed, but had to hang the poster of sold out tickets.
- Hundreds of theatres all over the world have stood firm in the face of these pressures, a position which, far from damaging their business with China, has reinforced their prestige and reputation.
Why the Chinese regime fears Shen Yun
- Shen Yun was founded in New York by practitioners of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, persecuted since 1999 by the CCP.
- Falun Dafa is an ancient spiritual discipline belonging to the Buddha School that in the 1990s became very popular in China because it reconnected the Chinese people with the essence of their cultural roots, spirituality.
- Behind all the traditional art forms of the ancient “Heavenly Empire” was man’s connection with heaven, and the Chinese who established this connection through the practice of cultivation believed that culture was a gift bestowed by the gods.
- Since the CCP’s seizure of power, communist leaders realized that atheistic dialectical materialism imported from the Soviet Union was manifestly contradictory to the essence of Chinese culture, so in order to impose their ideas they must first eradicate Chinese traditional culture and its values.
- During successive campaigns such as the Cultural Revolution or the Four Olds, sacred books were burned, temples, paintings, relics, all kinds of classical works were destroyed and in this way the culture was emptied of its content, turning it into a propaganda tool at the service of the regime.
- The CCP systematically persecutes all spiritual practices out of state control such as Christians, Buddhists or Uyghurs and especially the largest group of all, Falun Dafa.
- Shen Yun is the embodiment of the essence and values of traditional Chinese culture that the Chinese Communist Party has been trying to destroy for decades and therefore tries by all possible means to prevent its actions unsuccessfully.
Spain 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svUhLbi2QJo
Lincoln Center 2012 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_dQ2LBgWIc
Jean de Orleans https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lT-BVCdwPo
On the technical arguments that according to the theater justify the cancellation
- The unavoidable technical and artistic reasons put forward by the theatre have no basis whatsoever, since the advanced technology of the Teatro Real allows the coexistence of up to three shows with complete scenographies. (See TVE documentary)
- The Royal Theater argues that the technical direction alerts them that with the opera Das Rheingold, the Ballet of Paris and the rehearsals of Idomeneo it is not advisable to mount Shen Yun, however and according to calendar these do not coincide.
- During the dates rented under contract by Shen Yun, whose assembly and disassembly is extremely simple and fast, the only other production to be represented is Das Rheingold, which, with a single and minimalist scenography, is perfectly compatible with the performance of the New York company.
- The Ballet of the Paris Opera, which, of course, has coexisted with the aforementioned opera, ends on the 26th, four days before the arrival of Shen Yun, and the rehearsals for Idomeneo would not begin until the 6th of February.
- As if this were not enough, and before the arrival of Shen Yun on the 31st of January, the Theatre does not seem to have any problems of coexistence between the Opera and the Casino Royale Projection with orchestra scheduled for the 29th of January. The only and exclusive problem is with Shen Yun.
On the links between the Teatro Real and the CCP
- The Royal Theatre has signed an agreement with the Chinese regime since 2016 “to promote artistic exchange in the field of performing arts” by joining the International League of Silk Road Theatres.
- In May 2018 the Royal Theatre signed another agreement with the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.
- On January 14 and 15, just one week after the unilateral cancellation, a representative of the Royal Theater management paid a visit to China.
- The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China is a member of the Diplomatic Circle of the Royal Theatre.
On the damage caused by this cancellation
- The company Shen Yun Performing Arts, made up of almost 80 people, sees a relevant part of its European tour compromised, with 5 days left without being able to perform.
- This means losses for the expenses of flights, maintenance, lodging and promotion among others.
- The image and prestige of the company are damaged by circumstances totally alien to it.
- The people of Madrid will have their freedom of choice curtailed by pressure from an authoritarian regime that extends its censorship beyond its borders.
Faced with this situation, what is the real extent of the influence that the totalitarian party that governs China exerts on our institutions?
Have we accepted that in order to do business one has to disassociate oneself from the most basic human values such as integrity and the defence of freedom?
From Puro Arte Humano we believe that the preservation and continuity of the cultural roots of peoples constitute a fundamental right of individuals and the inheritance of future generations.
Since time immemorial, art has been the vehicle for transmitting the human values of societies through time, while at the same time it has become a living chronicle of the succession of events that make up the history of peoples.
Art in all its forms is an invaluable asset, its preservation and continuity are a fundamental right and duty of individuals and communities and constitute the cultural heritage that every society must treasure for new generations.
This is one of those moments that mark a turning point in history, a clear dividing line between right and wrong, between good and evil.
It is unacceptable that cultural censorship should return to Spain and, moreover, imposed by a foreign dictatorship that allows itself to decide what may or may not be represented in one of the main national cultural institutions of our country, such as the Teatro Real.