Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sites : The Shangrila-Dynamic Yunnan Show, China

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The Shangrila-Dynamic Yunnan Show
Kunming, Yunnan, China
(NOTE : This may not be a physical site, but the show so impressed me it is like a physical site worth visiting)
The bus sent us back to Kunming city where we checked into the King World Hotel.
But our day was not over yet, there was more to come! After a quick bath and dinner at the hotel, we went to see this wonderful show called Shangrila-Dynamic Yunnan (see also YouTube video)

A single drummer with a giant drum kicked of the show, his slow & loud drum beat slowly quickening, making a promise of more exciting things to come.

He was joined by other drummers, all on big drums Their drum beats reveberating through the hall. With the louder sounds, our heart-beats were quickening with the beat of the drums and our eyes glued to the stage.

From both sides, dancers clad in tribal costumes, made their way swaying and swinging onto the stage. The call of the drums were a call of dawn, waking to a new day.

On the left the lady dancers came in with fast but feminine movements and at the same time singing a call for daylight to come.

From the right, the male drum dancers came beating their small drums vigorously to ward away evil spirits for a good and peaceful day.

The dancer exited and the stage darkened. A spotlight shone on a single drummer who was doing a slow drum beat. But a his tempo quickened, more lights slowly lit up to show more drummers who joined in one by one.

With the stage fully lit now, girl drummers carried their drums onto the center. Two girls to a drum, their beat was different, alternating between the top and sides of their drums.

The drumbeats grew louder & louder, and faster & faster; rising to a crescendo and ended to an abrupt silence, and to the applause of the audience - yours truly here clapping the loudest.

With the sudden silence, the stage blackened; all was quiet and dark and the audience was hanging in anticipation, wondering what will come next.
A large yellow round light slowly emerged, rising like a full moon. In contrast to the bright and loud drummers, a slow figure slowly emerged to soft, serene music. Her silhouette clearly outlined in the moonlight.

From an idling position she slowly moved with the music and started dancing a sensuous move.

Her movement were graceful, with the sway of her body and the swing of her arms caught in the sharp moonlight.

The angle of her body, arms and opened fingers was a clear silhouette. 

Amazing! A simple dance routine, presented in a perfect way to show the beauty of the human body. The hall was pin-drop silent, one person enchanting hundreds.

The moon started to wane and the music slowly grew softer and slower. So did the movements of the dancer, her arms in a slow-motion flutter, seemingly like sea gulls flying out to sea..... and darkness again! Only then was there any movement and sound from the entranced audience. (see YouTube video on this dance)

That fine performance was followed by the Huayao Flower song & dance. The performers again clad in tribal colors.

During the intermission, I went to the foyer and bought some DVDs and souvenirs on the show. The posters there elaborated that the show was co-produced by renown dancer Ms.Yang Liping, who also performed the few solo dance routines (like the Silhouette Moon Dance). The many performers who dance and sang so well were amateurs - actually real-life people from minority tribes of China. They also made their own costumes! It must be the natural flair in them to have such creativity. Perhaps, it is in their everyday life to sing and to dance.

After the intermission, the show continued with another tribal dancd - the Harvest Dance. Really their colorful costumes ares something and their lively songs brings out the nomadic spirit in oneself.

Next was a serious dance number "World of Women" - no song, just loud staccato music and lively dancing.

Their straw hats made this routine mysterious, the horizontally lined skirts swaying to provide a balance pattern. The dance movements were vigorously masculine, what message were they trying to convey? 

However, from the build of their bodice and arms, I suspect that these dancers were men, only the lead dancer is a women! Was the title of the dance correct, or is there another implication somewhere?

The stage darkened again, and then out from the darkness emerged a single lady dancer clad in white.

This is the Peacock Dance - her movements gracefully imitating a strutting peacock .....

..... a flying peacock.

The lone peacock was joined by other peacock dancers, but always keeping their distance as she was the princess. Is this the Chinese version of Swan Lake?

The show ended in a majestic way. A male dancer pulling a train at least 50 feet long and the width of the stage, with patterns glowing mysteriously in the dark ultra-violet light - shimmering like that of a peacock.

(This is an extract from my travel-blog China - Dynamic Yunnan Day 2)

You may also like :

Sites : The Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Sites : The Monkey Forest, Bali, Indonesia

Sites : Todaiji Temple, Nara, Japan

Sites : Nyonya Mansion, George Town, Penang, Malaysia

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / Footsteps / Travel Sites / The Monkey Forest, Bali Indonesia
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  1. I recently saw a Huayao Yi 花腰彝族 dance group performing on CCTV's 2016 New Year Gala. They were performing 吉祥吉祥 with 萨顶顶. It is the first time I have seen and heard a Huayao dance group and I thought they were totally amazing. I wonder if the dancers in the CCTV Gala were from this show?

    1. Hi Andre,
      Thanks for the heads up on the Huayao dance group. Will look out for them.