COPENHAGEN—Recently, the Chinese New Year Spectacular, performed by the Divine Performing Arts company on tour in Copenhagen, Denmark, was suddenly canceled by the Danish Royal Theatre.
Nevertheless, an event planned by the Chinese Embassy in Denmark was quietly scheduled to be held on Feb. 2. This event, however, has been withheld from the public.
In the past months, dozens of major cities around the world have been scheduled to welcome the Divine Performing Arts company. Under the assistance of the administration of the Danish Royal Theatre, the Divine Performing Arts on Tour planned to come to Copenhagen, the most ancient city in northern Europe, and present two Chinese New Year Spectacular shows.
Nevertheless, in the middle of December 2007, after the Divine Performing Arts on Tour just planned its European schedule and the main host of the event was about to sign the contract with the Danish Royal Theatre, the theatre suddenly canceled the shows.
Other than polite apologies, theater representatives did not give any reasonable or concrete explanations for the cancellation. When the organizers of the Spectacular shows asked if the cancellation was due to pressure from the Chinese communist regime, Royal Theatre representatives denied any connection.
At about the same time, another performance from mainland China appeared on the theater's schedule. According to reliable resources, invitations to this one, called "Chinese New Year Concert," were sent directly to politicians and VIPs in Denmark by Xie Hangsheng, the Chinese ambassador to Denmark. The concert was to be presented at the "Old Stage" theater, which also belongs to the Danish Royal Theater.
Although there were only two days left before the concert, one could not find any information about it in the media or on the Internet. A reporter from The Epoch Times asked about the concert at the theater ticket office. The employee at the ticket office searched for information about the concert on the internal Web site; however, she found nothing.
It is very likely that the concert is sponsored and hosted by the Chinese communist regime and is offered only to high-ranking Danes, those in a leadership position in Denmark.
Recently the contrast in treatment received by these two Chinese performing groups in Copenhagen has gotten a lot of public attention. The media have reported on the Chinese embassies' efforts to interfere with the Divine Performing Arts "Spectacular" global touring show.
One week ago, in Sweden, an officer from the Chinese Embassy called local government officials in Stockholm and Linkoping and threatened them if they would not cancel the Divine Performing Arts shows.
Stockholm's Vice-Mayor for Culture and Sports Madeleine Sjoestedt told the AFP news agency, "They stepped way over the line. I think they really owe us an apology and an explanation." This incident also created a lot of attention in Denmark.
Many media in Sweden, such as the Swedish TV station SVT, radio SR, and newspapers Expressen, Corren, and DNr reported on the incident.