31 October 2013
Dear Dr Olaf Roth
Re: The Dream of The Red Chamber: Censorship Allegation
Hope this email finds you well.
I am writing to invite Ballett Dortmund to provide information to help me and concerned members of the community to follow up on the alleged censorship of the performance in Hong Kong.
I am a Hong Kong lawmaker and currently Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Legislative Council’s Panel on Home Affairs. The Panel oversees the cultural policy and members watch out for the community’s freedom of expression.
Your Hong Kong counterparts told a press conference yesterday the cut of the projection sequence following the premiere was caused by technical problems including subtitles not provided on time by you. Earlier, on Tuesday, ballet representatives said the sequence was cut because it was too long and too modern for local audiences to accept.
We have learnt from German and Hong Kong media views and details that are quite different from the above-mentioned explanations. For example, Tobias Ehinger and Piotr Gregorowicz were quoted to have suggested that considerations other than artistic ones were the reasons behind the changes made to the performance.
There are serious concerns and many questions to be answered. I should be most grateful if you could tell me what you were told by your staff on the ground and your response to the explanations given by your Hong Kong counterparts.
Please note that the Panel on Home Affairs is scheduled to meet on 8 November and I intend to raise this matter at the meeting to allow members to make comments and discuss what actions to take if necessary.
Thank you in advance for your kind attention. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Dr Kenneth Chan
Vice-Chairman, Panel on Home Affairs