Extraordinary modern revival of ancient Chinese culture
An extraordinary example of cultural diplomacy is the annual performance of the Shen Yun dance group, which starts its 2012 show in Washington this week. Shen Yun is known combining classical Chinese dance and music with the modern world in an elaborate and spectacular event. The performing company is closely associated with the Falun Gong, a spiritual movement rooted in ancient Chinese tradition but is banned by the Communist Party of China.
The PRC regime has aggressively repressed the Falun Gong domestically, and reportedly has interfered with Shen Yun performances abroad. In this sense, we find a cultural warfare aspect to the Shen Yun performances.
Shen Yun is free to perform in the Republic of China (Taiwan).
I saw the preview of the 2012 Shen Yun performance at a closed-door advance event at the Kennedy Center last December, and encourage everybody – even those not into the performing arts – to watch.