CHARLOTTE, NC—After a successful "Holiday Wonders" show in Baltimore to begin their tour, the Divine Performing Arts Company (DPA) arrived in Charlotte, NC to media attention resulting from the Chinese embassy's objection of the show in the city. Earlier this month, the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C. made calls to Ovens Auditorium, the show's venue, discouraging management from holding "Holiday Wonders." Ovens management refused to cancel the show.
DPA arrived early Wednesday morning to a warm greeting from local fans in front of Ovens Auditorium. Charlotte's major TV news stations were present to film the company's arrival in Charlotte and interviewed some of the members. The hot topic was about the Chinese embassy's objection.
When asked by the media why the Chinese regime objects to "Holiday Wonders," Leeshai Lemish, one of the shows hosts, said, "The Chinese embassy represents the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) which has always led people to confuse China and Chinese culture with the CCP." Lemish said that the CCP destroyed Chinese traditional culture during the Cultural Revolution, and DPA is reviving and reclaiming the heritage of the Chinese people.
Lemish said, "Our show is inspired by spiritual beliefs... and the CCP is atheistic. Any spiritual belief is fundamentally challenged." Lemish also said the show was not afraid to openly portray any topics, including spiritual beliefs and human rights—topics that the CCP suppresses in China.
Ovens management said it was the first time ever a foreign government had called about one of their shows. One of the venue's show promoters admitted she was intimidated after realizing she had received a call from a foreign embassy objecting to a show. The incident made the news in the entertainment page of Charlotte's biggest newspaper, The Charlotte Observer , arousing local interest.
"Holiday Wonders" debuts in North Carolina tonight in Ovens auditorium. The show will play for two nights on Dec. 19 and 20 before moving on to Greensboro, N.C. and then Florida. "Holiday Wonders" is part of the largest Chinese performing arts series in the world. During the 2007-2008 season, the shows will play in over 50 cities to an audience of over 650,000.