Of all the extravagances that have made their way to stage, the House of Dancing Water has to be the most spectacular. To begin with, the name – the House of Dancing Water – lends itself to imagination beautifully. There is an almost lyrical quality about it and it brings to mind columns of water from the river and foamy waves from the sea dancing to the symphony of raindrops falling from the sky.
This show has been developed at great expense. It took more than 5 years to conceptualize it, 2 years to rehearse the sequences, and about US$250 million to produce it. The creativity of this unusual, yet striking, concept is credited to Franco Dragone, veteran Vegas show-maker, who was the director for Cirque du Soleil’s most prestigious shows back in the 90s. According to Ho, CEO of Melco-Crown Entertainment who opened City of Dreams, “Franco has personally directed and created this show and has really tried to understand Chinese culture. The show has lots of Asian and Chinese elements that can connect with the audience.”
The House of Dancing Water premiered on September 17 at City of Dreams, Macau’s latest entertainment resort, thrilling spectators of all ages and demographic profile. The theater that has been exclusively purpose-built for this show has a stage pool that holds water equivalent to 5 Olympic-sized swimming pools (3.7 million gallons), making it one of the largest water-based theaters on this planet. In addition, it also has 258 automated fountains and 8 elevators that help convert the watery stage to solid floor.
Even more mesmerizing than all the water play and special effects are the 77 performers from more than 18 countries around the world, who are the lifelines of the entire performance. Dancers, stuntmen, acrobats, and musicians, bring to life the legend of a princess held captive by the venomous Serpent Queen and rescued by a brave stranger. Although the story is not too complicated, it is inspired by the principle of “seven emotions” as derived from classical Confucian beliefs that are so integral to Chinese culture, the emotions being sadness, anger, love, joy, desire, fear, and hate.
Melco’s City of Dreams is banking on the success of the House of Dancing Water to establish its position as one of Asia’s premier entertainment and leisure destinations and multi day-stay resorts. Considering that this performance is being hailed as one of the most thrilling water-based extravaganza ever to be seen on stage, Melco has nothing to worry about.