MUNICH, Germany—"This is outrageous," declared Helmut Pauli, Managing Director of the Tonicale Concert Agency in Munich, Germany. From the moment he agreed to book the Shen Yun Chinese Spectacular at Munich's famed Prinzregenten theater, he says, scarcely a day has gone by with out him getting a phone call from the Chinese consul in Munich or her staff.
"They are threatening me and my company!" Pauli told The Epoch Times. Among the messages the Chinese diplomatic mission delivered to him are that should the show go on, Pauli might never set foot on Chinese soil again. Also, he was told that he would be blacklisted from doing business with Chinese partners, he says.
"I´ve seen the show in Frankfurt, and there is nothing offensive in it in my point of view," says a Tonicale employee who made arrangements for the show in Munich, who asked to remain unnamed.
"It is to the show's credit that the president and the vice-president of the European Parliament, as well as several German political representatives, sent congratulatory messages that are included in the program handout," she added.
In two dance scenes the persecution of Falun Gong is depicted – "in an artistic and aesthetic way", according to the employee. A review of the show in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung expresses a similar view.
Yet Chinese officials have attempted to interfere with the Shen Yun production at many of the stops on its global tour, including most recently in Czech Republic, where the show played three shows at the Prague Congress Centre. In Prague, the Chinese Embassy published a front-page advertisement in the local Chinese language press warning people not to attend the show. Czech TV, the country's largest television station, reported in prime time that they too received a letter from the Chinese Embassy, this one warning them not to cover the performance.
Tonicale executives noted that cancellation of the shows would present extreme financial hardship for the company. In addition, as was explained to the Chinese vice consul, the firm is not the presenter of the show, but merely an agent of the show's producers and presenters.
Yet the consul persisted with her threats to the company, say Tonicale executives. If Tonicale continued to support the show's performances, "your only Chinese business partners in Munich would be Falun Gong, no one else," said the consul.
For information about upcoming Divine Performing Arts shows, please visit: www.DivinePerformingArts.org.
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