Dancers in perfect harmony, martial choreography and bright fabrics are displayed in each acrobatics in the air.
This is Shen Yun, the dance show that is on tour in different cities in Mexico.
“China before communism” proclaims the central slogan of his presentation.
The phrase sums up the open confrontation that the dance company – founded in 2006 in New York – has with the Chinese government by declaring its anti-communism and Falun Gong or Falun Dafa as a source of inspiration, a discipline considered by the Chinese authorities since 1999 as a "destructive cult".
Given this confrontation, the landing of the company in Mexico has not been without controversy.
The Chinese Embassy in the country has invited through social networks not to attend these presentations, and even,
Shen Yun Performing Arts, which presents itself as a classical Chinese dance, ethnic and folk dance company, never hides its opposition to the Chinese government.
To the beat of the gong, lights and colorful costumes in 80 dancers, the viewer goes through stories of legends, loves and dynasties until reaching contemporary episodes.
"Some acts also touch on the theme of China today, shedding light on the oppression that many suffer for their spiritual beliefs," the company mentions on its official website.
A perspective against which for years has been in frontal clash with the Chinese Communist Party.
Through its Twitter account, the Chinese Embassy in Mexico affirms that the Shen Yun show is a political tool for the Falun Gong discipline to carry out "its sect propaganda", affirming that far from cultural intentions, the functions have a propaganda purpose against China and to raise money, which only deceives the viewers.
“Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, manufactures and propagates anti-human and anti-scientific fallacies, and implements extreme mind control over its believers, thus constituting serious harm to society.
More than 1,000 Falun Gong believers in China died because when they fell ill they refused to seek medical treatment, hundreds of Falun Gong believers committed suicide or self-harm, and more than 30 innocent people were killed by Falun Gong believers.”
⚠️The Chinese Embassy in Mexico reminds lovers of Chinese culture from all walks of life in Mexico to stay away from "Shen Yun" shows organized by the destructive "Falun Gong" sect so as not to be deceived.🔗 https:/ /t.co/qFzH5WKixw
– Chinese Embassy in Mexico (@EmbChinaMex) May 11, 2022
The diplomatic corps' crusade against the Shen Yun tour in Mexico and the Falu Gong went further.
The Government of Querétaro acknowledged that days before the show was presented in the entity they received an email from the diplomatic headquarters to indicate that the presentation did not represent Chinese culture in any sense.
The letter sent by mail was in line with the statement that was also released on the official website of the embassy.
“Mexican friends who appreciate and love Chinese culture are expected to pay attention to distinguish authenticity and stay away from the so-called Shen Yun performances of Falun Gong, so as not to be deceived and taken advantage of by the destructive sect,” the statement said. missive.
Despite the warning
In addition to Querétaro, the dance company has already performed in Mexico City and San Luis Potosí, and will soon perform in Monterrey, Nuevo León.
Paradoxically, although Shen Yun has toured the world performing in different cities in the United States, Spain, Germany and France, it is forbidden to enter China.
South Korean Falun Gong members perform a ritual known as Kim Shin-woo in Seoul. Ahn Young-joon (AP)
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a variation of traditional qigong exercises, a kind of breathing-meditation, which many Chinese believe can increase and channel life force.
Accompanied by special music, different routines are performed under which they intend to harmonize the body, mind and spirit.
This discipline was founded in 1991 by Li Hongzhi – a former Chinese security guard – and takes its name from the Falun term, which means wheel of law.
In 1999 the practice of this school was prohibited by the Chinese Government.
For its practitioners, the repression arose as an attempt to undermine the force of followers, which according to them reached more than nine million, however, the version of the authorities warns that it is the prohibition, responding to the fact that it is a dangerous sect for society. .
Jennifer Pascual, 37, is a businesswoman who practices Falun Gong in Puebla.
The turning point to approach this school was a labor problem nine years ago.
She edited a tourism magazine in the state and one of her clients owed her around 200,000 pesos.
One of her friends, seeing her so overwhelmed and unable to sleep, invited her to practice the movements through the internet.
According to her testimony, her health and her work and personal relationships have improved since she is a practitioner of the movements and meditations that Falun Gong promotes.
For her, this discipline has meant a change to a better lifestyle.
Shen Yun dancers during a rehearsal on March 18, 2016 in Long Beach, Calif. MediaNews Group/Orange County Re (MediaNews Group via Getty Images)
In tune with the publications on the Falun Gong websites, the young woman from Puebla accepts as valid the testimonies of persecution, organ harvesting and torture that practitioners of this school have spread globally for years.
"Right now, well, the persecution continues, it's been more than 20 years and they try to throw us out that Falun Dafa is a sect, that we are against communism and no, the only thing we want is the end of the persecution," she says.
Although she is aware of the threats that practitioners of what she calls the "millennial method" have received, the businesswoman affirms that she is not afraid and, on the contrary, that she will continue practicing and spreading this discipline.
The UNAM academic, Genaro Beristain Aguilar, explains that unlike other martial arts schools such as Jiu-jitsu, Falun Gong also began to have a series of criticisms of the Chinese Government for moving away from the Confucian and Buddhist principles that during They have long permeated Chinese society.
"I do not consider it a sect because the sects act in a hidden way, they are rather an art school and have had friction with the Government of China for their interpretation of what the current Government of the People's Republic should be," he adds. .
The expert is skeptical about the accusations by Falun Gong followers of mass persecution and organ harvesting that have spread through the Internet, however, Beristain Aguilar does not rule out that there are incidents of incarceration of people from this school whom considers dissidents to submit them under their questioned indoctrination processes so that they stop carrying out these practices.
"The Communist Party is indeed very suspicious of the different arrangements that may arise within the country," he settles.
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