Friday, August 13, 2010

Zhang Yimou's Impressions

Because of work and traveling, I was unable to really research much for this particular trip. Thanks to Alvin, he knew exactly what we should squeeze into our four days. So on our first night, we bought tickets for the Light Show. At first, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew is that I spent 198RMB (about $30 USD). That's a lot of money for one show in the middle of rural China, so I was clearly anxious to see what I had spent my money on. As soon as we arrived at our destination, I was getting slightly relieved - the structures that welcomed us were impressive.

And then the show began. WOW. This was a Zhang Yimou production!! Zhang Yimou as in the world renowned director of the films House of Flying Daggers and Hero. And, as in the guy who directed the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Yeah, that genius.

In 2004, he directed the show "Impressions" here Yangshuo. It became such a success that there are now five "Impressions" shows throughout China - each one with a different story reflective on its setting. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I have seen some amazing productions - Broadway shows in Manhattan, Vegas Cirque de Soleil productions, San Francisco plays, musicals, and operas....This puts them all to shame. There were no jaw-dropping stunts. The awe factor of this production was in the use of the natural environment and of the endless upon endless performers (600+ performers!!). Yimou's style focuses on color themes and on nature. Both were evident in this production. At least four color themes were boldly presented (red, green, blue, silver). As for nature - he used the river AS the stage. The Li River!! Performers balanced on rafts! Plus, the beauty of how the hills and mountains were lit just added to the beauty of the "stage."

What a privilege to see a Zhang Yimou production in person! I highly recommend this show to everyone!! And if not this particular one in Yangshuo, he has four other productions in Lijiang, Hangzhou, Hainan, and Mount Wuyi - all in China.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Definitely gonna recommend this post to a few friends