Water Heavens

Last night I was fortunate to see a performance created by Tan Dun (Hidden Tiger Crouching Dragon …or is the Tiger Crouching??) It takes place every Saturday in a tiny ancient water village called Zhujiajiao which is about a 1 hour taxi ride (or subway to the end of the line and 2 busses and a walk!). We arrived just at sunset and were dropped on the outside of the city. A maze of winding streets with windows that looked into tiny homes and lit by random red lanterns led us to the river.

We had a bit of time to check out tiny shops offering all kind of trinkets and food as well things like fish food massages (you put your feet into a tank full of tiny fish and they relax you???)

The performance is a celebration of water. The theater is made of 2 ancient homes which have been transformed into a cavernous space, the back of the stage a glass door which opens for the performance.

The stage floor is a thin pool of water, so actors and musicians (strings and percussion and some Chinese traditional instruments) are actually in the water. The opening was stunning, as the musicians play, actors interact with water and its drips, the glass wall opens and the Buddhist Temple across the river is lit as monks chant their prayers as part of the performance. An amazing moment to experience and I think the only Westerners in the theater!

He is more about this piece:


Tomorrow on to Chengdu!!



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