Organizers of strip shows in rural areas will be severely punished in a campaign announced by the Ministry of Culture on April 23 to curtail the illegal performances.
The ministry will work with various departments to intensify supervision of profit-oriented shows and boost law enforcement in rural areas, it said.
“Illegal performances such as strip dances have been occurring in rural areas from time to time that have disrupted the cultural market and created a negative influence on the social environment,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
The ministry will severely punish illegal activities such as strip shows and hold culprits criminally accountable if they violate laws, it said. It will also blacklist companies and individuals behind illegal operations and publish the list.
It cited two cases involving the staging of strip shows. The shows’ organizers have been punished by cultural authorities and other departments, the ministry said.
In one case, six performers with Red Rose Troupe, an art group from Handan, Hebei province, participated in a performance at the funeral of an elder in Handan’s Cheng’an county on Feb 15. The performance included playing a suona－a Chinese double-reeded horn－as well as traditional dancing. At the end, the performers presented what the authorities characterized as a strip show. No details were provided.
A manager of the troupe, surnamed Li, was given 15 days in detention and a fine of 70,000 yuan ($11,000) by the police and county cultural authorities.
In the other case, three performers delivered what was said to be an obscene act at a funeral in Zhangtang village of Suqian, Jiangsu province, on Feb 27. Again, no details were provided.
Some people in rural areas pay troupes to play folk music and perform racy acts, so that more people will come to a funeral, said Zhang Chengdong, vice-president of the Jiangsu Festivals and Events Association.
“They want to have as many people as possible attend the funeral. In this way, they feel they fulfill their obligation of fidelity to their elders,” Zhang said.
Authorities should intensify supervision so performing troupes will not violate laws just to cater to the bad taste of some people in rural areas, he said.