Photo Of The Day

Knife Chained and Child Chained

(A blogger took this photo of a kitchen in a noodle bar, in Xinjiang. screenshot)

Recently, there was some knife violence in Xingjiang. The Chinese authorities decided to restrict buying, owning, and using knives, and this is one result in a local restaurant in Xinjiang, China.

Among many responses, one blogger commented: "I don't know whether to laugh or cry! What shall I  do with my knife at home!"

Chaining is becoming more popular for Chinese people in their daily lives:

Below is a father and his daughter in a train station, both falling sleep while in the waiting room. Fearing his daughter may be kidnapped, the father chained his daughter to him.

(Screenshot)

English National Ballet Kowtows to Chinese Regime on UK National Day PDF Print E-mail
Think Tank
Shanying Gregory   

Composer Pete Wyer's The Far Shore was created for the Shanghai Expo and was to be premiered as the highlight of the event's 'UK National Day'. But the British Council and English National Ballet cancelled the performance after learning that the work is dedicated to the people of Tibet.

This week at the Shanghai Expo, it is Tibetan week in the Chinese Expo section, where thousands of visitors will be subjected to the propaganda of the Chinese communist regime that Tibetans are happy living under Chinese rule and have all of their human rights.

'China is opening up' is just sheer fallacy.

The Chinese communist regime sabotages many peaceful activities that may remind people of the fact that the Chinese regime is an authoritarian dictatorship, however, it is distressing that British Council and the English National Ballet have kowtowed to the pressure of the regime and are complicit in this abuse of freedom of expression, especially as the Arts are usually a bastion of free speech and respect for human rights.

Not a very edifying performance on UK National Day!

Ballet by Pete Wyer: The Far Shore. (screenshot)

Here is part of the statement that composer Pete Wyer posted on the English national music board.

More details from Pete Wyer music site

Pete Wyer

I’m deeply disappointed that the premiere of the ballet The Far Shore, with my original score, choreographed by Van Le Ngoc and to be performed on UK National Day at the Shanghai Expo on September 8, has suddenly been cancelled. The cancellation by the British Council and English National Ballet was made public by The Times on August 28, following a press preview of the work in London, where I heard the ballet described by journalists present as “beautiful” and “moving”. I am dismayed about the impact on the choreographer, dancers and others involved in the production, who put their hearts and souls into the work over a period of many months.

The cancellation has arisen because of a personal dedication to the Tibetan people (see below) written only on the score and seen only by a very few people at English National Ballet and London Symphony Orchestra; the performance in Shanghai was to have been to pre-recorded music. I had not planned to attend.

It is standard artistic practice for a composer to dedicate their work to whoever they wish. In this case I dedicated the work to the Tibetan people and their culture, a culture that is appreciated by many Chinese people in China, too. It was a small personal gesture in keeping with the work’s artistic content, and not a political one. Ultimately as a composer one hopes that the work will speak for itself, it is, after all, possible for a piece of music to be enjoyed without it’s personal dedication being known or relevant.

The dedication text was as follows:

‘This music is loosely based on the original folk tale Swan Lake which famously inspired Tchaikovsky. It is a story of truth triumphing over deception and darker forces. It is dedicated to the people of Tibet, for speaking the truth, protecting their cultural identity despite the dangers they face’

 

 

 

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