How long is the house of dancing water show
The House of Dancing Water Live Show
— in China
The House of Dancing Water
Cast & crew
The House of Dancing Water
— Franco Dragone
“An extraordinary magical kingdom”
Performing in the tailor made 2,000-seat Dancing Water Theater, by a cast of nearly 100 international artists, The House of Dancing Water is a spectacular love story that transcends time and space.
The show is set in an extraordinary magical kingdom that takes audiences on an awe-inspiring and emotional journey.
The show incorporates mesmerizing special effects, dazzling costumes and visual treats with the most breathtaking acrobatics, artistic and aerial performances. The House of Dancing Water has received rave reviews by audiences and critics alike and has been hailed as one of the most imaginative theatrical extravaganzas ever produced
Because this brave fisherman saved its life, a Cormorant promised a peaceful life for him and his family. Thus he lives, humble and serene, fishing off the bay of Macao. Does he ever doubt that he will be lost in time and, more importantly, thrown into an extraordinary destiny?
Centuries ago, in Europe, The Stranger secretly boarded a galleon that had set sail for China. Hidden in his sea chest, he would become the sole survivor of the sunken ship; there the stowaway will discover love and risk his life to save the Princess.
The beloved daughter of the sea, she is the only one to possess the power to make the water dance. She embodies joy and harmony. But the Dark Queen, jealous of her grace and power, imprisons the Princess and subjects her to the vilest of torments…
Supple like the wind, Wabo the Sage is a confidant of the forest, the sun and the moon, the animals and the greenery. Natural ally of the princess, he is the guardian of the sacred sword, a symbol of royalty and justice. the sword that the Dark Queen lusts after, the one without which her power cannot be complete, the weapon that will be the instrument of her defeat…
—The Evil Minister
He is a cowardice incarnate. He will do anything to survive. Anything that is, except to risk his own skin. Loyal only unto himself, he will serve The Dark Queen as long as she reigns…
—The Dark Queen
Jealous, wrathful, and greedy, The Dark Queen will do anything to seize the throne, at the expense of the Princess, and to rule the Kingdom, ready to destroy all its beauty. No one is graceful to her eyes, except for her own reflection…
— Spotlight on theater
A technical and architectural prowess
Created by the Pei architectural firm of New York (which has in particular the Louvre Pyramid in Paris to its name) and by designers of the show, this theatre is more than just a theatre:
It is a real showcase through which to discover the gems emanating from the imagination and the creativity of the Dragone team.
Watch the Making-Of
The House of Dancing Water took 4 years to bring to life. Costumes, video projections, special effects, acrobatics – no details were spared by Dragone’s team when crafting the spectacle that now appears on stage nightly. Our dialogue with water started with a handful of talented, creative designers.
Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Melco Crown Entertainment
Founder & Artistic Director of Dragone
Associate Director and Choreographer
LI CHUNG PEI
Fountain/Special Effects Designer
Acrobatic Performance Designer
Script Writing Support & Creative Process Videographer
Video Content Designer
Show Manager JEFFREY BROWN
Resident Artistic Director CHAD LESLIE
ADRIAN GARRIDO GAGO
ATHUMAN FORD ATHUMAN
DU JIA NAN
FRANCISCO MANZANERA APARICIO
HEATHER MAGEE SPILKA
JAE EUN PARK
MARCELA DE OLIVEIRA DE MOURA
MARGARIDA CHIPENDA MARTINS
MARITZA M ZAMBRANO
MIGUEL HIDALGO MORRISS
MIGUEL MARQUEZ MARFIL
VALERIA SOARES DE CARVALHO
VICTORIA CLAIRE HAMMOND
YVES VANDER DONCKT
ALEJANDRO BERNAL CASTILLERO
ANABELA DE SOUSA
AO KUOK WAI
CAROL DOS SANTOS
CHRISTINA CHOI HO MAN
HENRY DEL CAMPO
IU IENG KIT
JEAN PHILIPPE DIOTTE
JOSE ESCAMEZ GUTIERREZ
JUSTIN F. SINCLAIR
KA MAN LAU
LEONG WAI PAN
MARIANNE GARRON FOURNIER
NUNO DA SILVA ROSENDO
PAUL DE GUZMAN JR.
WARREN WEST III
YIK MAN LAU
JEAN PHILIPPE TRÉPANIER
SEVERINO DA SILVA
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The House of Dancing Water... Remembering a Masterpiece
The House of Dancing Water in Macau, another one of the true legends in live entertainment, is no more. The show might re-open in a different form at some point in the future. However, with Covid still active around the globe, nothing is sure for now… except one thing: even if Franco Dragone’s masterpiece will be revived in the coming years, we will never see it again in the majestic grandeur and uniqueness of how it was originally created.
The House of Dancing Water had been temporarily closed in June of 2020, with the idea of re-creating, adjusting to new COVID regulations, and re-opening the show for Chinese New Year 2021. However, this plan changed. On 22nd of November 2020, the remaining cast and crew’s contracts were terminated.
As with many shows which were closed during the course of 2020, even though expected, the closure comes as a shock for all who are and were involved in this magical endeavor.
Often, with creations of such brilliance and beauty it is on some level unimaginable that they can ever just cease to exist. Hope remains until the very end. Even though we all know: Nothing lasts forever. Change is the essence of life.
However, whilst even the most beautiful moments must come to an end at some point, the memories remain. The lessons we have learned and the experiences we have made remain. And our lives are forever changed.
To honor The House of Dancing Water which has greatly impacted my life in many ways, I dug into my archives and found something I wrote right after I left the show in 2013.
While this little trip down memory lane can’t soften the pain of the 140 people who are presently packing up their lives to find new horizons, I hope it can give them and all of us, who are and were involved in this great creation, just a little something to hold on to.
As we remember an extraordinary time and place together…
Even though our four months of creation for The House of Dancing Water were exhausting, I was wide-awake most of the time. I was fascinated and felt so privileged to be able to watch Franco’s vision take a clearer shape with each passing day.
We found out quite late in the production process that our show was going to be called The House of Dancing Water. A perfect name considering what happened on stage…
Geysers shot sixty-five feet high and could catapult a person into the air. If they happened to stand in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Jets and rain were additional attractions augmenting the – in itself breathtaking – pool which was hidden under eight hydraulic lifts. These lifts could be moved at any time to reveal either a flat surface, or a body of water, alive with bubbles.
Imagine you are sitting in a theater-in-the-round, the size of a football field. A sixty-five foot long and thirty-seven foot high pirate ship rises up on the lifts. Out of the depths of the circular stage pool…
All of a sudden, thirty scary pirates surface and jump onto the edge of the stage. They face you, muscular, menacing, and dripping with water. The music ramps up and the pirates climb the boat, performing tricks and jumping from great heights over and over again.
These tortured souls have been trapped in the dark depths of the ocean for a very long time. They have now been freed for just a moment and rejoice with daredevil acts. At the end of the six-minute act, the pirate ship, shrouded in fog, sinks back into the depths, disappearing forever.
Thunder rolls, lightning strikes. A torrent of rain plummets from the almost incomprehensibly high ceiling of the theater, pushing the fog aside on its way down.
The dense wave of fog rolls over your head, revealing a shipwrecked sailor, all alone, lost on the vast ocean.
Unbeknownst to you, the telescopic masts of the boat are being retracted underwater and the ship driven off stage to a large aquatic backstage area hidden under the auditorium.
Moments later, the shipwrecked sailor finds himself beached on a dry stage.
You and the rest of the audience gasp at witnessing the sudden appearance of solid ground where only moments before there had been a life-sized pirate ship and then nothing but water and a struggling survivor swimming for his life.
This is only the beginning of the magnificence to come…
Every so often during my four years of working for The House of Dancing Water, I would take an extra day off, to go see the entire show from the auditorium. To remind myself of what I was working for.
Each time, The House of Dancing Water would sweep me away and leave me in tears of joy.
Franco Dragone had essentially managed the impossible and choreographed a masterpiece uniting people of all ages, genders and cultures, artfully weaving together Chinese and Western symbolism.
He created a timeless story:
A beautiful princess endowed with magical powers had been locked away by an evil, power-hungry queen. Then a stranger appeared from a shipwreck, freeing the princess with the help of a mysterious tribe. A fast-paced battle of good against evil ensued, keeping audience members at the edge of their seats for ninety minutes.
While it was in essence a fairy tale story, it provided action galore.
Moto riders would catapult so far over the audience’s heads, they almost seemed to touch the ceiling. Cliff divers would jump from unbelievable heights, presenting death-defying stunts. Dancers and acrobats would fly through the air and dance over the surface of the water.
And, of course, there would be a dazzlingly romantic, happy ending.
The size of our stage made it impossible to process all the detail during one show, turning every single one of my visits to the auditorium into a brand new experience.
The lifts would make our stage come alive as if it was a breathing land-and-seascape.
Earthquakes would shake the ground while geysers would erupt with a loud hiss. Props and artists would magically appear and disappear under the water surface.
Sometimes, all lifts would descend as one, colorful lighting from underwater and above would turn the now gigantic pool into oceans of different colors, signifying our journey through life.
Dazzling lights, rain, jets and fountains would aid the story with their grand visual and sensory impact, leaving an unforgettable impression in the hearts of all who came to see this incredible creation.
Whilst seeing the great performance as just another member of the audience, I would always experience the joys of a coach seeing his charges rise to never-imagined heights – and, in our special water environment, depths.
Like a father watching his children grow from their first clumsy steps to charismatic perfection, my heart would almost burst with feelings of love and pride.
As the beauty on stage mesmerized me, I would remember why I worked there in the first place: because I believed in the vision, and the beauty of it all.
With mind and heart refreshed, I would dive back underwater, where I would resume my work as a show diver and performer trainer with dedication and passion.
Some of my favorite work moments were the small rituals and encounters with our artists backstage.
During a part of the show called the “Fountain Dance”, a group of swans would appear out of the dark blue depths of the stage pool to bring the lost princess and her savior together in a moment of budding romance.
In order to magically appear out of nowhere, a group of fifteen dancers, dressed in tutus as swans, would need to get across an expanse of water.
But, once saturated, the dancers’ tutus were too heavy to swim in. So they pulled themselves along a rope that led from a dry backstage area across the water surface to a set of stairs hidden at the edge of the stage, just out of view of the audience.
Ready in case of an emergency, I would watch the swans. I would hover underwater as they pulled themselves slowly towards the stage.
At the last moment, just before their cue to appear in front of the audience, I would kick up to the surface and the swans would wave to me, laugh happily, blow me kisses and we would splash each other with water.
I would delight in watching the first minute of their performance from behind a dark curtain, before I needed to continue to my next cue.
Another highlight for me was the moment when performers would first come underwater at the beginning of each show.
We would all share complicated handshakes and fist bumps in greeting or play a round of rock-paper-scissors. Some of the artists were only half-dressed and finished donning their costumes underwater, in full control of their movements even while immersed.
I loved being responsible for reveals or catches.
During a catch, the artist would jump into the water, relying on me to catch him (or her) and give him air within a split second. I would then swim him underwater to the nearest pool exit backstage, or towards his next cue, so he could magically re-appear on stage.
For a reveal, I would simply swim the performer to his cue position. Hovering just underneath the water surface, I would hold him, then, at a signal, let him go up for his cue on the water surface.
One of my favorite catches would happen just off the edge of one of the lifts. Thirty seconds before our catch, I would swim out to where the performer was standing.
The pool water was crystal clear, so I could see his toes hanging over the edge of the lift.
I would gently squeeze his toes, letting him know of my arrival. In turn he would wriggle them, saying hello to me, his invisible rescuer. Moments later, he would enter the water. I would grab him in one practiced, swiping move and swim him, as fast as possible, to safety. The audience would never be the wiser.
Then, there were moments full of adrenaline and heightened responsibility. When performers would fall off the chandelier for example. Their costumes would be so heavy, it would make it hard for them to swim to safety without a show diver holding them from beneath.
Or, there would be other moments of performers sinking underwater inside a cage or pagoda.
Each scene usually accompanied by perfectly timed underwater rescues to keep everyone safe yet be invisible… so as not to destroy the illusion for the audience.
If I had to wait with a performer underwater, we would entertain each other with elaborate good-luck handshakes, snap our fingers to see who could get the loudest sound, blow air rings, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company for a few seconds before the music told us the time for action had come…
When I returned to work as a stage manager for another show in Macau, I took every chance I could get to return toThe House of Dancing Water. To venture backstage, as well as to watch the show from the auditorium.
I must have been in the audience for another thirty times. My heart beating loud and fast each and every time. I could never get enough of the incredible melange of human talent and beauty shrouded in water and light.
Even the unique smell of our theatre, due to the pool water, immediately triggered a wave of happiness and feeling at home.
Now, I am glad I experienced The House of Dancing Water so many times, with all its subtle changes over the years.
And, as I write this article on the day of the show’s closure, I think of the entire show family of The House of Dancing Water, past and present. I think of all who made this show come alive. And I think of all we can still accomplish together in the years to come.
Thank you for everything!
More from Liam Klenk:
Keep Your Cool Backstage as a Stage Manager: 12 Insights
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The House of dancing Water | Macau | Visitchina.ru
- Cities and provinces
- Special Administrative District Macau
If the show took five years and $250 million to create, it can hardly fail to impress and it can hardly be considered a landmark of Macau. At least travelers who have traveled almost the whole world believe that there is no other place more impressive than The House of Dancing Water.
It is impossible to see something like this anywhere else in the world for one simple reason - the stage for the show is so unique and complex that it is completely unprofitable to transport it, and it will take a lot of time to assemble it. Not only a lot of money and time was spent on this performance, but also the forces of the artists, because the rehearsals lasted two years. 80 acrobats from 20 countries take part in it, 150 technicians and 30 divers monitor the operation of the equipment. In this case, divers are indispensable, since many tricks are performed at a height of 30 meters, and the insurance is a pool that holds 14,000 tons of water. Already impressive.
The organizers of the show seem to have foreseen everything, paying considerable attention to the brilliance of the performance. In an effort to make the show a landmark of Macau, the best designers have created 400 costumes for acrobats alone, as artists create paintings based on European and Chinese subjects. It seems that the scriptwriters came up with a simple plot: a fisherman sailing on a boat is carried away by a whirlpool into a magical world, where he witnesses many unusual events. The fisherman takes part in many of them, shows courage and becomes king as a result. Children's fairy tale? Yes, but it was done so magically that adults are watching what is happening on the stage, literally with bated breath. I can’t even believe that 2000 spectators are present at the performance. The hall is almost always crowded, although tickets are not cheap. By the way, if you want to buy a ticket on the Internet, you will need to exchange the printout before the performance, showing an identity card.
The show lasts an hour and a half. The artists hold the audience's attention tightly with dances, acrobatics under the dome, motorcycle stunts, underwater performances, animation graphics, bright costumes, and perfectly matched sound accompaniment. Many viewers are left with the impression that artists go beyond human capabilities. Iridescent balls at the same time create a psychedelic atmosphere. All of this is certainly mesmerizing.
Shows are held every day except Tuesday and Wednesday at 17.00 and 20.00 (schedule is subject to change). The souvenir shop is open on weekdays from 14.00 to 19.00.00, on weekends from 13.15 to 22.15.
Ticket prices: from 406 to 1580 HKD. Discounts are available for children under 12, full-time students, persons over 60 years of age. It is not recommended to visit the show with children under 6 years old.
Flash photography and mobile phones are prohibited.
Buses from Macau Airport and ferry piers go to the "City of Dreams", where an unusual stage is equipped.
Other sights of Macau
Grand Hyatt Macau Level 1, City of Dreams, Macao, China. Phone: +853 8868 6688 Website: http://thehouseofdancingwater.com/en/#/home.
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Dervish dance - description and video
- Dervish dance what is it?
- Whirling Mevlevi Dervishes
- What does the dance of the dervishes mean
- Turkish Dervish Dance
- Where to watch Dervish dance in Istanbul
- Dervish dance at Sirkeci station
- Dervish dance in Khojapasha
- Dervish dance video
- Attraction map
Dervish dance is an unusual act that attracts tourists who come to Istanbul. You probably won't see this anywhere else. The dance of the dervishes is also called Sama or Sema. It is accompanied by singing, reading poetry, prayers and playing national musical instruments. By the way, the dervish dance is included in the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage.
To watch the dervish dance with pleasure and understanding, it is worth turning a little to history.
Dervish dance what is it?
The Dervish Dance is a meditative dance that used to be a religious ritual. Dervish dance is associated with the history of the Mevlevi Sufi Order.
Whirling Mevlevi Dervishes
Mevlevi is a famous Sufi tariqa that originated in the 13th century in Turkey. Sufism is a mystical movement in Islam that preaches asceticism and increased spirituality. And tarikat is a method of spiritual elevation and mystical knowledge of the Truth. The founder of the ideas was the Sufi poet Jalaladdin Rumi, and his son Mavlad became the founder of the order.
Mevlevi was the most powerful order in Ottoman Turkey. It was called "The Brotherhood of the Spinning Dervishes". In 1925, the Mevlevi brotherhood was abolished by a decree of President Atatürk. It was allowed again only in 1954.
The religious side of Mevlevi attaches great importance to music, song and dance. The dance performed by whirling dervishes is one such ritual.
To answer the question of who the dervishes are, one should plunge into history. In essence, a dervish is a Muslim monk who shares the philosophy of Sufism. But unlike traditional monks, dervishes could get married and have their own house. Although for the most part they led a fairly ascetic lifestyle.
Dervishes were both wandering and settled - living in monasteries and monasteries. But before being called a dervish, a novice had to pass a probationary period in the brotherhood.
Only dervishes could perform the dance. Before being allowed to perform a ritual dance, a novice had to serve in a monastery for three years: the first year was devoted to service in the name of others, the second - in the name of God, the third - for the benefit of his soul and its improvement. After this trial period of 1000 days, the novice was accepted into the brotherhood, and he received the status of a dervish.
Attire of Mevlevi adepts traditionally consists of a conical cap made of felt, a long white shirt, a wide belt and a black wool cape. Dervishes perform the dance in wide skirts - jaluns.
The clothes of the performers are symbolic. The white color symbolizes the funeral shroud and shroud, the headdresses are a kind of tombstones. All together - this is the transition from the world of real life to the world of the eternally living near God.
Suf means wool or woolen cloak. Perhaps that is also why the Sufis chose such clothes.
Dervish dance in Istanbul
What does the dervish dance mean
There are several varieties of dervish dance.
The first variation is a single dance. The dancer rotates around its axis, standing on one leg, and the second periodically pushing off, gives itself acceleration. One of his hands is lowered down, symbolizing the connection with the earth and reality, the other is turned up, to God, from where the dervish draws energy, support and faith.
There is also a group dance with several dancers. One of them is in the center, while the others circle around it, creating a round dance. The movement of the dervishes in a circle begins slowly, with a gradual acceleration. This shows the constant rapid movement of life and the world around unshakable values. Each participant in the collective dance, due to the constant rotation of the surrounding picture, losing the clarity of the outlines of objects, gradually enters a meditative trance and enjoys a feeling of detachment and euphoria.
Dervish dance, subject to special rhythms, is aimed at releasing consciousness, removing blocks and complexes, opening internal resources for further enlightened life.
The constant rotations in the dance helped the dervishes to move away from extraneous thoughts, free the brain from thoughts, doubts and everything oppressive. And trust only the call of the heart and God. According to legend, if the dervish has even one thought during the dance, the skirt will fall.
Dervish dance - throat singing
How the Turkish dervish dance goes
Before the start of the ritual, the floor is covered with sheepskin, determining the place of the sheikh - the spiritual master. This is a kind of ritual Sufi throne.
The ritual begins with the throat singing of the soloist or the whole ensemble, accompanied by the playing of national musical instruments.
After reading Rumi's prayers and poems, the dance itself begins. First, in turn, moving around the perimeter of the hall, the dervishes go around several circles and, stopping at the skin, bow to each other, greeting each other and the Almighty. After the dervishes take their starting places, they go through several dance "salutes" or acts.
The dervishes are moving around the hall, gradually spinning, plunging more and more into a meditative trance. In the center of the dance action is the sheikh - the mentor of the dervishes. It is easily recognizable by its special cap, usually green. The dance is accompanied by the sounds of a flute and beats of a tambourine. The ritual ends with a general reading of the prayer.
Where to watch the dervish dance in Istanbul
Due to its mysticism and mesmerizing beauty, the dervish dance has become not only ritual but also artistic. Currently, it is performed on stage not only by real monks, but also by trained dancers. Although, at the annual festival of dervishes in the Turkish city of Konya, where the mausoleum of Rumi is located, you can also see real Sufis performing this dance according to all the canons.
Please note that the dervish dance is a meditative ritual. You have to be prepared for the fact that whirling to monotonous music will not produce the same wow effect on you as from an incendiary show.
There are several places in Istanbul where you can watch a dervish dance.
Dervish Dance at Sirkeci Train Station
To see the Turkish dervish dancing, the cheapest and easiest way is to go to Sirkeci Train Station near Galata Bridge and Hagia Sophia. This station was the terminus of the "Orient Express" - the train, famous for the detective Agatha Christie.
The old building now houses a free railway museum. And in the main hall with colored stained-glass windows you can watch the bewitching dance of the dervishes.
Istanbul Sirkeci Station
Performances are held daily at 19:30. Tickets can be bought from the cashier at the entrance to the hall in advance or immediately before the session. The ticket price is 70 Turkish lira. The duration of action is about an hour.
Spectators sit on chairs around the perimeter of the hall. In the season they put two, three, or even four rows. Arrive early to choose the most convenient viewing spot. All spectators are treated to tea before the start of the performance.
Dervish dance in Hodjapasha
The most striking performance is shown at the Hodjapasha Cultural and Art Center. It is housed in a 15th-century hammam, close to Sirkeci Station. In the hall under the high domed ceilings, you will witness the Sema Ceremony with whirling dervishes and a light show.
Duration 1 hour. Start daily at 19:00. This performance is almost twice as expensive as at Sirkeci Station. The price of an adult ticket is $22, for children from 7 to 12 years old - $16, for children under 6 years old - free of charge. The ticket price includes a visit to a small exhibition of dervishes (clothes, musical instruments, books, reconstructed scenes from the life of dervishes, multimedia stands).
Tickets can be purchased at www.hodjapasha.com/en/whirling-dervishes-sema-ceremony/
Organizers recommend arriving early, 30 minutes before the start. Here, too, free tea is served before the session. If you are late for 10 minutes, then you can still enter the hall, but 15 minutes after the start of the performance, entry into the hall is prohibited. Ticket price will not be refunded for latecomers.
These performances most correspond to the ancient ritual. But in Istanbul, you can see the dervish dance in restaurants and cafes, where professional artists perform small excerpts, presenting the dance as one of the symbols of Turkey.