Performers Granted Visas To Stage Memorial to Tiananmen Memorial in U.S.
NEW YORK (AP) _ Seven members of a Hong Kong theater troupe who’d been denied visas to come to New York for a performance commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre were granted permission to enter the country Thursday.
The seven had been stranded in England, where they recently completed five performances, and were to arrive in New York on Thursday night, said Eleanor Yung, director of the Asian American Arts Centre.
The center is sponsoring the New York performance of ″Deep Structure of Chinese Culture,″ scheduled for Saturday at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
A pro-democracy movement in the People’s Republic of China was crushed last June 4 when government troops killed hundreds of demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The visas were denied by the U.S. Embassy in London last week due to concern that the performers with the Zuni Icosohedron theater troupe would not return to Hong Kong once they were in the United States, Ms. Yung said.
She said the visas were issued after the Hong Kong Consulate General assured U.S. officials the performers would not try to immigrate illegally. She said numerous U.S. politicians and other concerned citizens had lobbied on the performers’ behalf.
The visas were granted Thursday morning in London, she said, and the performers boarded a flight to New York later in the day.
″I’m very happy,″ Ms. Yung said.
The theater company’s name refers to an American Indian tribe and a 25- sided geometric shape. Four members of the troupe were issued visas earlier, and will take part in the performance with the seven performers flying in Thursday.