Posted by: 1of10boyz | December 22, 2012

Yangshuo’s “Impressions of Sanjie Liu”


First off, this Yangshuo place is driving my spell checker crazy; both of them. The word processor is easy to fix I click on the word and tell it to add it to the dictionary. The one in my head does not like the “U” before the “O”; I hesitate EVERYTIME that I try to spell the word. My fingers do not want to spell it like it is supposed to be. That is really weird; OK, back to the story.

I am not really an artsy kind of dude. The last thing that I would likely admit to is enjoying a “show”. However, this trip to Yangshuo included the Impressions Sanjie Liu show. The show is scheduled to occur every night in Yangshuo. This is not a Broadway show, or what I think a Broadway show is like. This show is not in an enclosed space.

The show is outdoors. We were fortunate during our visit that the weather was not too challenging. The seating are for the show consists of 3 different groupings, A, B and C. The seating is right next to the Li River and is surrounded by 12 Karst peaks. The stage for the performance is roughly 2km (1.25 miles). The show is directed by Zhang Yi Mou who is also credited with the Opening Ceremonies for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. The show should be considered a “must see” experience for any visit to this area.

Most of my viewing experiences have been the closer to the front you can get the better the seat; think Madison Square Garden floor level seating. Because of the vast area that is covered in this show the best seating in the house is the back row. The A area seating is what I would call skybox seating, the chairs are immense and box comes with its own attendant, snacks and drinks and is covered. The B area seating is back against the A area and is a padded wicker chair. The C area seating is bench or bleacher seating and is packed pretty tight. Unless your backside is the size of a typical Chinese person I would imagine that this seating area is not very comfortable and not conducive to an enjoyable show experience.

Different from other shows in an enclosed space, the show – Impression of Liu Sanjie stages in the actual Li River which stretches 2 km (1.25 miles). The mist, moonlight, together with 12 Karsts peaks and their inverted reflections in the river all creates a spectacular natural backdrop. The light system and the smoke-effect system compliment the natural landscape and provide an exciting visual treat.

The show lasts approximately 70 minutes and has 7 episodes: the Prelude, Red Impression, Green Impression, Golden Impression, Blue Impression, Silvery Impression and the Epilogue. Each episode displays different images and scenarios with the ever-changing natural background and lighting.

It is said that there are 600 actors and actresses, mostly local Zhuang and Yao minority groups, involved and most of them are fishermen from the villages along the river. It combines the classical area folk songs and ethnic culture together and presents a large-scale performance in harmony.

We couldn’t part with the extra cash for the A area seating and were on the back row in the B area in the middle of the seating area. It was an awesome experience. We were given a light plastic rain coat when we entered the show park; it was just slightly thinner than a bathroom trashcan liner. It was adequate but if the rain we had experienced would have been any harder we would have not enjoyed the show much. But it was just enough to keep us dry enough.

Unfortunately, the entire performance is in Mandarin so I don’t have any idea what the show is really about. It is spectacular, I am sure I would have enjoyed it even more if I had actually understood what the storyline was, what was actually being said or sung, and a whole host of other reasons related to not understanding it. Did I mention that I am really not a “show” guy?

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