App | Old Version | 中文 |
HOME >> NEWS >> PHOTOS

The Han Show: A spectacular sweep through history

Li Bo/Fu Chao
Updated: Dec 24,2014 10:46 AM     China Daily

The Han Show Theater is a landmark building specially designed for the show.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Culture and technology thrill audiences in this “East meets West” extravaganza, Li Bo and Fu Chao report.

The much-anticipated live performance The Han Show, co-produced by Wanda Cultural Industry Group and Dragone Entertainment, opened on Dec 20 in Wuhan, Hubei province.

The word “Han” in the title refers to the Chu-Han culture and the culture and tradition of Wuhan.

Directed by Franco Dragone, an Italian-Belgian theater director famous for creating magnificent shows around the world and also the founder of Dragone Entertainment, the show features a range of performances including water ballet, acrobatics, sports, stunts and drama.

The show is Wanda Group’s bold move to create a milestone “East meets West” show to add to the world’s and China’s cultural landscape.

Staged in the theater shaped like the iconic Chinese cultural image of a red lantern, The Han Show is elegant Chinese traditional culture presented in the creative and thrilling form of live performance.

Mark Fisher designed the theater, which is located along Wuhan’s picturesque East Lake. He was considered the world’s top arts designer and architect, and was the stage art director for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

The 86,000-square-meter theater has 2,000 moving seats. There is also a water stage covering 12,000 sq m.

During the performance the audience can see the pool being transformed into a dry stage.

The ensemble of moving seats, which is a world-first, offers the best view for the audience during the water stage performance.

Magnificent scene from the show.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Recognized as the first large show featuring a water stage in the Chinese mainland, water has played an important role for the performers.

The director Dragone saw water as an inspiration and also an influential element of both Chinese traditional culture and the local culture of Wuhan city.

According to Dragone, the dance performance in the water illustrates perfectly the Chinese culture and its long lasting impact.

Besides water, special effects are also the highlight of the show. A range of groundbreaking technologies have been adopted in the stage setting to bring theater audiences a multi-level experience where there are performances simultaneously in the water, on the stage and in the air.

Zhang Xinyu, a famous Chinese outdoor adventurer and an amateur expert with high-tech gadgets, visited the set of The Han Show before its opening.

Zhang said it is unbelievable to see so many cutting edge and innovative technologies used in a cultural performance and fit so well together.

The Han Show started to recruit performers around the world in March and the final cast includes around 100 performers from 14 countries.

Dragone said that to present a natural infusion of a variety of talents has always been an ambition in his career.

Stage scenes of The Han Show.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Profile

As the largest cultural enterprise in China, Wanda Cultural Industry Group has registered capital of 5 billion yuan ($819 million) and assets of 44 billion yuan.

Its income last year was 25.5 billion yuan.

Its businesses include a cinema chain, film and TV play production, film and TV industry park, stage performance art, film technology entertainment, theme park, entertainment chain, newspaper, calligraphy and painting collection, and a cultural tourism zone.

It also has 1,247 film screens and 81 KTV halls.

The Han Show is an important step in creating the Chinese culture brand, and a milestone for Wanda to boost its culture and tourism pillars.

It represents the future direction of Wanda and has already gained wide attention from the entertainment industry, media and governments.

The Wanda Dragone Entertainment Co Ltd, a joint venture between Wanda and the director Dragone, was founded in November 2012.

It is the first Sino-foreign joint venture cultural enterprise in Hubei, and its first production is The Han Show.

These two “firsts” have resulted in a must-see world-class entertainment.

Stage scenes of The Han Show.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Stage scenes from The Han Show. The animal heads used in traditional narratives presented images of pain because they had been looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing and taken to the West. They never spoke to the audience. However, they come alive when put together with clothes that blend both Eastern and Western elements.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

Stage scenes from The Han Show. The animal heads used in traditional narratives presented images of pain because they had been looted from the Old Summer Palace in Beijing and taken to the West. They never spoke to the audience. However, they come alive when put together with clothes that blend both Eastern and Western elements.[Photo/Provided to China Daily]

VIDEOS