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Propaganda war on the Swiss stage

Pepe Lienhard don't know anything. The saxophonist and Big-Band Leader, visited last year, the performance of the dance group Shen Yun in Winterthur. "There were beautiful dances, the orchestra played with precision," says Lienhard on the phone. "The fact that the Video was made with me on Youtube, I was not clear," says Lienhard. He, too, knew nothing about the Compounds, Shen Yun Falun Gong. "What is Falun Gong?", ask Pepe Lienhard, now, audibly irritated.

Immediately after the performance a Video was taken with Lienhard, with the Shen Yun since then, the Internet advertises. "That was very amazing, a very high level," says Lienhard in the Clip. The Swiss musician is also quoted in the brochure, which was distributed prior to the current Zurich performances in the households.

Pepe Lienhard praises the "very high level". Video: Shen Yun (Youtube)

The dance troupe was founded in 2006 and is based in the United States. With six bands you will be touring nonstop through the world. Their Show includes dances, orchestral music, solo songs, it tells the story of Chinese gods and traditions. Dozens of artists each on the stage and play in the orchestra pit.

the "revival" of a "divinely inspired civilization," says the brochure. Falun Gong is no speech, nor in the Videos. Also during the piece said that followers of Falun Gong to play for Shen Yun and organize. In March, the troop, in Geneva, was a guest since Monday in Zurich.

A clever Trick

Monday evening in Zurich-Oerlikon, Theater 11. Thin, smiling women, panning, wipes and toddling across the stage, muscular men make flip-flops. The stage image shows a Mongolian Steppe, the Palace of a Chinese dynasty. The dances only last a few minutes, then the curtain falls again.

Between the scenes of a Chinese presenter and a German Moderator. The Show is completely bilingual, the chants are by Video subtitles. The presenter says, how "old" and "divine" the dances were.

Eventually, he begins to talk of "Falun Dafa," a country little – known Synonym for Falun Gong. Of their spirituality, but also their persecution. A nifty Trick: it was only in the 90s based meditation is embedded movement casually into the narrative of a thousands years old civilization, is a part of the "old", allegedly "divine" in China.

And all of a sudden, can they back

see the atmosphere flips on the stage, the Idyll to the Horror. A young woman reading peacefully in the writings of Falun Dafa, is being invaded by thugs. That there are henchmen of the Communist regime, is abundantly clear: On the back of their black uniforms and red emblazoned with the Emblem of the Hammer and sickle. The woman is deported, and so tortured, that they are blind.

her mother brings her home, comforts her, reads to her from the Falun Dafa writings. Then the miracle happens: Heavenly dancers increase down, swarm around the woman and suddenly you can see again. Beaming, she turns to the audience, opens the arms. The audience is here. in Zürich-Oerlikon, in a very concrete sense, Propaganda is being palmed off

Shen Yun, the dance leg of Falun Gong.

In Zurich, Shen Yun is allowed to occur. The Theater Winterthur is the force, not a stage. This was decided by town President Michael Künzle together with the theatre management. This emphasizes Künzle, before the Chinese had contacted him. In fact, the Chinese Consulate asked, last year, the Chinese Embassy for a Meeting.

Everywhere, where Shen Yun's dances, the Chinese diplomacy is not far away. As the dance company in 2012, has appeared in the Kongresshaus in Zurich, was the Consul General alignment, Shen Yun was "a means of propaganda for the Falun Gong cult". The beginning of the year it came out in Madrid in an uproar, as a Theater to cancel Shen Yun's performance in the short term. Due to technical problems, said the Theater. Due to Chinese pressure, said Shen Yun.

of The Falun Gong founder, Li Hongzhi lives in New York. There is also the Shen Yun was founded-an Ensemble of Falun Gong practitioners, Falun obviously Gong purposes. This makes the matter delicate: The Chinese are right. Shen Yun is actually the extended Arm, or better: the dance of Falun Gong. The performance, which is currently on display in Zurich, is a propagandistic sham.

"you may assume that I am a human being": Li Hongzhi alias Master Li. Photo: Keystone

the organization of The Zurich-based performances, Shen Yun is opaque. The Freddy Burger Management, the Shen Yun theatre 11 rents in Oerlikon, denied information appearance: Neither wants to say whether this time Chinese diplomats have intervened. Still, if it had seen the Shen Yun Show in advance. Also to the involvement of Shen Yun, Falun Gong there is no comment. With a single sentence, it can be quote: "Ultimately, we have based on the fact that the freedom of the arts is a Swiss basic law."

organizers of the event in Oerlikon, the Zurich Association for Chinese art, whose members provide part of the Falun Gong classes. The performances of the dance troupe are, respectively, a test for the local Falun Gong practitioners. Li Hongzhi himself exhorted the faithful to get more involved in Shen Yun. In Winterthur was amazed last year at how quickly the performances were sold out. "The Shen Yun organizers are obviously brilliant," said city President Künzle.

Although the advertising expenses of large posters throughout the city, brochures in the households, promotional stands in shopping centres, the Association for Chinese art for days to media requests. The club President can finally align, it is reporting "not interested". Days later, then a scarce Mail: advertising financed from ticket sales. On the Intervention of an official of the Chinese place, nothing can be "known".

The Anti-China-Reflex

Why not declare the Association for Chinese art, the entanglements between him, Shen Yun and Falun Gong? Without further comment, the Association President sent a Link to the place, who on the Shen Yun Website. There is the emergence of the dance group will be documented, placed in the vicinity of their the founder of Falun Gong and persecution by the Chinese Regime complained of. From stinging tires we are talking about the sabotage of a Tour truck and are wrong letters sent, the Communist party in the name of Shen Yun brakes. These allegations are difficult to verify. Are secured, however, the regular interventions of the Chinese diplomacy.

Back in Zurich-Oerlikon, the very end of the show: Young people shuffle about the stage, fixed on their phones, one sees a money-grubbing beggar, and a robbery – theatrical statements with the materialism of the West. Then a Falun Dafa disciple who brings all to the right path occurs. Finally, the Communist storm again minions of the stage. But this time it takes you to evil: A deity appears on the video wall and leaves you in a cliff fall.

"If it is actually Propaganda, one would have to reconsider the permit."Norbert Bolinger, Ex-Director of the house of Congress

Shen Yun presents the theatre a number of difficult questions. To unload a group, because they agitated for an esoteric meditation technique? Because you pretend to be the organizers and the audience? Or you should allow Shen Yun to occur, precisely because Falun Gong is being harassed by the official China? Shen Yun's benefits on his European tours regularly from this Reflex Because you do not want to bow to the authoritarian China, the ally operators and journalists with the Ensemble.

Norbert Bolinger 2012 was head of the Zurich Congress house and defended at that time, Shen Yun. Today, he is not so sure. He had not seen the whole performance, only briefly looked inside and was impressed by the richness of color. "If, indeed, Falun Gong Propaganda, one would have to reconsider the performance permit," says Bolinger today.

a Silent Protest against China: Falun Gong activists in Taiwan, in April 2016. Photo: Keystone

one way or the other: The Shen-Yun-roll Tour. In Zurich, the performances are nearly sold out, and then the force travels to Paris and London. Other Ensembles this month in Taiwan, and Mexico on the go. Whether a clear Declaration of your Falun Gong philosophy would harm the troops, is open.

Pepe Lienhard says: "The Falun Gong was not known to me. But in China things are so different than ours, and the Show was good. I would go back again."

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 09.04.2019, 18:40 PM

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