Our last evening in Kaifeng we attended the most amazing performance! Millennial Park is an outdoor cultural amusement park covering many acres. In the mornings there is an opening ceremony and all types of activities that preserve traditional Chinese entertainments. Puppet shows, stilt walkers, acrobats – all fabulous!
For the evening performance we sat in nice seats in a theater setting on a small lake. It was a beautiful night out – cool with a breeze – perfect for an outdoor performance. Across the front was a wide ribbon of stage area and another across the back of the lake. At the back edge was a village, a huge temple to the right and grassy mound and ‘river’ to the left. Several boats were used in the performance to great effect.
The show is the story of the Song Dynasty in Kaifeng. The performance opened with a huge floating flower with singers and dancers in it. The flower drifted from left to right across the lake.We were startled at first when the horses thundered across the front stage the first time – but they were amazing. And in one battle sequence, the general was a powerful female! She was magnificent in her costume astride her white battle horse. Horses and camels across the back stage. Performers of all types – stilt walkers, fire throwers, and 2 children representing the future of China. The staging was great too – the village and temple were ‘burned’ at one point – using billowing fabric and red lighting – very dramatic! Just a perfect evening! Thanks to Director Ma and Dr. Zhou who gave up an evening with their families to attend the show with us!!
For those of you who have traveled to Chilicothe, OH to see Tecumseh, this is similar – just a whole lot larger scale. We plan to take our Chinese hosts to see Tecumseh this summer to return the favor.