Three years ago when visiting Guilin in China we had the opportunity to attend the Impressions Liu Sanjie show which was spectacular. So during our visit to Wiyishan we also took the chance to attend the Impressions Dahongpao Show set up in a gigantic tea house at the side of the river with a unique rotating stage.
Established in 1998, the Impression series was co-founded by China’s three top directors, Wang Chaoge, Fan Yue and Zhang Yimou – more famously known as the “Iron Triangle”. The trio was also the key success behind the unforgettably impressive opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
A new concept of performing arts, the Impression series has successfully staged nine highly sought-after productions among which seven shows were conducted outdoors where the natural environment of real mountains, waters and life was weaved in as its backdrop. The subsequent series were staged indoors. Local culture and customs were incorporated into the performance, along with a feast of breathtaking lights, shadow and dance to complement the remarkable show.
“Impression Dahongpao” is the fifth and the latest production of Zhang Yimou’s Impression features. After the “Liu Sanjie” in Guilin, “Lijiang” in Yunnan, “West Lake” in Hangzhou and Hainan Island, this time, China’s tea King Dahongpao of Wuyi Mountain is given the ‘Impression’ treatment.
A pivoting stage makes it possible for the 2,000 audience members to enjoy a circular view that changes as the play goes on. The innovation stretches the viewer’s perception… to as far as several miles away.
15 big screens are hidden somewhere in the distant mountains. They only appear when the show needs them to help present an illusion of the touching legendary love story of two major peaks of the Wuyi mountains.
However, all the lights and high-tech effects are employed not only to show off the beauty and grandeur of the natural scenery, but to impress upon the audience the spirit of China’s traditional tea culture.
Dahongpao, or the big red robe, is an exclusive specialty of Wuyi Mountain, which was listed as both natural and cultural heritage by UNESCO in 1999. With a history of hundreds of years, Dahongpao is honored as the King of China’s tea. Now the fame of Dahongpao is re-enhanced for Zhang Yimou’s “Impression Dahongpao”.
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