Posted at: 04/26/2013 6:07 PM
Updated at: 04/26/2013 6:19 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
SCHENECTADY - They've bought 100,000 glossy brochures to hang on doorknobs or to mail throughout the Capital Region. They're also buying full page ads in newspapers, and airtime for television spots.
It's a full scale effort to promote Shen Yun 2013, a one-night Chinese dance and live music performance coming to Proctors Theater, promoted by local practitioners of a spiritual movement called Falun Gong, which is banned in China.
"Because of the inherent conflict between the community party and the Chinese culture, Falun Gong has been the latest victim of this cultural destruction," said Yu Chen, a volunteer.
Xiulan Li is living proof of the oppression. She was arrested in 2008 for protesting the Chinese persecution of Falun Gong, detained in a cell for 37 days and under surveillance for five months before fleeing back to Gloversville.
"They kept me there for 36 days they forced me to read those materials all day long," Li said.
"Communist materials," asked our reporter.
"Yes, communist materials," said Li, through a translator.
The Falun Gong practitioners said there won't be speeches or preaching of beliefs at the Proctors show. Instead music and dance that tells stories of Chinese traditions.
"The mini-dramas of the dance program draws upon legends myths, folklore, historical figures and literary classics and stories of modern day courage," said Chen.
The Falun Gong group is bringing the show to Proctors as an outside vendor using their own money to promote it, and hoping to break even on sales.
Tickets for the May 9th performance cost between 50 and 120-dollars.