Lawmakers, public urge government to investigate Beijings hand in Odeon Music and Theatre Halls decision to reject classical Chinese dance show
A Danish theaters inconsistent explanation regarding its abrupt decision to walk away from a nearly signed contract with Shen Yun Performing Arts, as well as previous setbacks for the New York-based Chinese classical dance company in Denmark, have fueled public debate about the influence of communist China in the Nordic country.
Shen Yun was set to perform next April at the Odeon Music and Theatre Hall in Odense, Denmarks third-largest city. But the theater cancelled the contract on Oct. 15.
“We have contacted with Odeon Music and Theatre center to perform Shen Yun since two years ago,” Benny Brix, spokesman for Shen Yuns in-country presenter, the Danish Falun Dafa Association, told the Chinese-language Epoch Times on Nov. 26. “We finally reached an agreement to invite Shen Yun to perform three shows in the theater on April 2 and 3, 2020.”
According to Brix, the association received a draft contract from Odeon on Oct. 9; after that, they had a meeting on Oct. 14 in Odense in which both parties confirmed all items in the contract, including arrangements for Shen Yuns performers to be accommodated in the Radisson Blu HC Andersen Hotel, which has a partnership with Odeon.
Though the contract was to be signed the next day, Brix said the association received an email from Odeon saying that the theater had already booked a business conference for the two days that Shen Yun was set to perform.
Founded in 2006, Shen Yun tours every year, consistently performing in sold-out venues worldwide. Its mission, according to the Shen Yun official website, is to showcase the splendor of Chinas thousands of years of civilization through classical dance.
However, Shen Yuns performances also depict the persecution of Falun Gong, earning it the enmity of Beijing. Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a Chinese spiritual practice that has been banned and violently suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) since 1999. Shen Yuns commercial success and critical acclaim have made it a target for the CCPs overseas interference operations. In addition to direct threats against Shen Yun employees and acts of sabotage, Chinese diplomatic personnel have put economic and political pressure on theaters and governments not to allow Shen Yun performances.
Reports since October suggest that Odeon may have lied to the Danish Falun Dafa Association about the reason for not signing the contract.
On Dec. 5, Denmarks TV 2 received an Oct. 22 email sent by an Odeon employee to a local cultural organization, confirming that the theater was not booked on April 3, one of the days on which Shen Yun would have performed.
The email, which invited the cultural organization to schedule its activity for that day, came seven days after Odeon cancelled its contract for the Shen Yun performances.
According to Brix, one possibility is that Odeon cancelled its contract as a result of self-censorship. Another possibility is direct interference by the Chinese embassy in Denmark.
Its not the first instance of Shen Yun encountering trouble in Denmark. Documents suggest that the Royal DanishRead More – Source