Thursday, April 25, 2013

How I was cheated 45 euros by Falung gong

Several weeks ago my father offered me some tickets for a musical and Chinese opera show: Shen yun

The show was not cheap: 45 euros a seat

Critics are very good:
  • Newspapers talk about a great show
  • An advertising campaign in Paris subway leaves no doubt: this show is a master piece

To me, Shen Yun is unremarkable: 
  • Costumes are nice but nothing out of ordinary if you have ever been to Paris Opera for instance
  • The setting is simply a video projected on a white screen
  • The show has not logical sequence. It is a succession of dance and songs. No logic links the different shows.
  • Dances are rather unremarkable. In China you can see similar dances even from amateurs or on the street!

Shen Yun, a big mass for Falung gong

I came to see a Chinese danse and songs show! 
I found myself in a "falung gong mass":
  • About 1/3 of the show are songs and speeches telling you that falung gong is good or that the red demon should crumble
For instance from the first song you hear that evolution theory is wrong and that the creator built humankind. Or that heavens protects the goods (members of falung gong).

  • Behind a row of spectators, one or more Chinese clap and cheer every five minutes!
  • At first I was surprised to notice that many Chinese people came for the show. In fact I understood that most of them are falung gong members... 
  • At the interlude we receive some contact sheets... no thanks you I won't give my contact details to the falung gong!

  • While reading the program I realized that all the dancers and singers have been to the same school "Fei Tian New York academy of arts"

Falung gong proselytism is skilfully hidden:
  • The show puts forward "Chinese traditionnal culture", "5000 years of civilization". It pretends to be a presentation of Chinese culture! Thus it attracts many spectators. The show then tells you about falung gong and tries to have you join falung gong. I wonder why the Chinese government doesn't have its own official danse show!
  • The show has the support of medias. In the program leaflet advertisements for: BFM TV, New Tang Dynastie Television, Arts sacrés, Epoch Times. I wonder why so many medias support this show? Shen yun pays for this? or did they somehow managed to show themselves as a defender of human rights in China? Or are there many falung gong practicioners in many institutions?


  1. I just recalled (but should check if it is true) that a similar show was also a few months ago in Lausanne, Switzerland (but was not around so could not check it out). No mention of FG.
    I guess you know Epoch Times is the FG news paper, so not surprising they cover this kind of events.

    1. Yes you are right: they have 3 teams playing this opera all over the world.

      I have nothing against the FG (and wouldn't like to attract their wrath on me), it is just that when I come to see some opera I don't want to spend 1/3 of the show listening to how FG is great and good...

      I also don't like the way they have FG members clapping their hands and talking to you to get your contacts. Or even how the show will try to scare you: "if you are not FG you will go to hell at the judgment day".