Impressions of Liu Sanjie

August 16, 2010

While visiting China in September/November of 2008, we went to Guilin, went underground to the Reed Flute Cave, hiked the Dragon’s Back, cruised the Li River and spent two days in Yanghsuo.

A brief tour from Guilin to Yanghsuo

Then we saw Zhang Yimou’s breathtaking staged production, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie, which I recommend to anyone visiting Southeast China.

One of the lightshow scenes from “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”

Zhang Yimou, the director, is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker. He made his directorial debut in 1987 with the film “Red Sorghum”.

In the 1990s, Zhang Yimou directed “Raise the Red Lantern”—nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1991 Academy Awards.

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed on the river at night. However, you may be more familiar with Zhang Yimou’s opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

More from the “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”

 

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed with the Karst Mountains and the Li River as the setting.

The cast comes from the local Guangzi Zhuan Autonomous Region  and many may be fishermen by day and actors at night and are from the Zhuang and Yao minority groups, who live in that region.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Disneyland Chinese Style

March 2, 2010

President Obama’s half brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, is married to a Chinese woman and lives in China. Ndesandjo speaks fluent Mandarin and practices Chinese calligraphy. In a TIME interview, he said, “I’ve experienced the warmth and the graciousness of the Chinese people.” Ndesandjo is overwhelmingly positive about his life in China.

Disneyland

TIME magazine also reported that a Shanghai Disneyland has been approved, and according to a report by the Burbank, California based Themed Entertainment Association, “Chinese consumers have a lot of love for Disney. They’re more excited about Disneyland than the EXPO 2010 Shanghai China.”

To give you an idea how much Chinese love everything American, visit Zhang Yimou’s musical, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie. This musical with a cast of hundreds is staged on and alongside the Li River in Southeast China near Vietnam. The theater reminded me of similar theaters at American theme parks like Six Flags or Disneyland but the musical was local and ethnic.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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2008 China Trip – Part 2

January 29, 2010

While in Guilin, we took a slow boat down the Li River and attended a musical and lighting extravaganza “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” near the town of Yangshuo.

This outdoor show, with a cast of six hundred local people, takes place at night on a stretch of the Li River with real mountains as a backdrop.  The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is the creation of Zhang Zimou, China’s famous film director. Zhang is also world famous for directing the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

A scene from Zhang Zimou's nighttime spectacular on the Li River.

However, Zhang directed “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” several years earlier.

During the trip, I took a thousand pictures. While America’s inner cities team with street gangs and grafitti, people in China are friendly and courteous. Come back and visit often as I show a bit more about what I have learned about China and this ancient culture based on Confucianism and Taoism.

I’m sure that what I have learned in the last ten years is what caused Robert Hart, the main character in my novel, My Splendid Concubine, to fall in love with the Chinese culture and people.

What I find amazing about Robert Hart is that he did all this while staying connected to his family in Ireland and to his Christian, Irish, British heritage. After all, Queen Victoria made him a Baron late in his life. In addition, more than a dozen countries honored him with awards including the Pope in Rome.

Return to 2008 China Trip – Part 1 or discover Xian

______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.