That’s a showstopper. “Shen Yun,” a traditional Chinese dance show, has been going around the world for years. The US-based production is scheduled for four replicas at the Donizetti Theatre in the Northern Italian city of Bergamo, on April 5 through 7.
- However, representatives of Chinese diplomacy are pressuring local authorities over it. After protesting the production, as reported by Corriere della Sera, the Chinese Consul-General for Milan Xuefeng Song travelled to Bergamo to meet local Culture Councillor Nadia Ghisalberti.
Soft power? During his visit, the Chinese consul questioned the Italian councillor about the show and expressed dislike for the decision to make it happen. Still, as Ms Ghisalberti pointed out, neither the municipality nor the Donizetti Foundation, which oversaw the theatre and rented it out for the event, organised it.
- Beijing’s woes relate to the link between Shen Yun’s United States-based production and the Falun Gong religious group. The Chinese government regards it as a dangerous sect and has jailed tens of thousands of followers since the 1990s, leading many believers to become exiled.
- Chinese authorities might also have disliked the show’s subtitle, “China before Communism.”