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Famed director Zhang Yimou promises spectacular show for G20 Summit opening gala

Reporter: Xu Zhen 丨 CCTV.com

09-04-2016 21:05 BJT

Full coverage: G20 Hangzhou Summit

This evening, the leaders from the G20 nations have also descended on this historic city, and I can only imagine Hangzhou is going to extend a very warm welcome in its special way. The special performance tonight will take place not only with the famous West Lake as the backdrop but literally on the lake. Zhang Yimou, the eclectic film director behind the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the APEC opening ceremony in 2014, will be lending his vision to the G20 Summit opening gala again tonight. Ealier, our reporter checked out the rehearsal for the much anticipated gala. Take a look!

Produced by a team led by famed Chinese director Zhang Yimou, the evening gala is staged with the majestic West Lake as its background.

It's based on Zhang's "Impression of West Lake" show, an astonishing performance that takes place right on the surface of the water, combining music, dance, and light effects all against a natural backdrop.

However, this time the director has tried out something even more spectacular.

Zhang Yimou said, "Actually, I only keep a mechanical device and several dancing moves of the "Impression of West Lake" show. To some extent, I can say it's a whole new show. But the performance will still be presented on the water surface. For the first time you can see ballet dancers staging 'Swan Lake' on a real lake."

And it’s definitely not an ordinary stage.

Through a remarkable feat of engineering, the platform lies centimeters below the water surface, so it seems the actors are defying the laws of physics.

A ballet dancer Sun Yimeng said, "Usually, we only dance on special stages and training rooms, where there’s professional anti-skid glue. But now it’s more challenging to dance on the slippery floor. At first we could hardly even walk on the stage. But now, it’s much easier, thanks to these specially designed shoes."

To resonate with the G20 leaders and an international audience, Zhang has chosen symphony music for the show.

Zhang Yimou said, "Symphony is universal language. So we chose some classic pieces that not only suit the show, but also this occasion."

Using special lighting and features, the show focuses on the city’s rich cultural heritage. It takes time, effort and great ingenuity to conceptualize a unique, exquisite and special performance.

Sha Xiaolan, producer of G20 Summit evening gala, said, "It took the construction team two months to complete the lighting project. To add more Chinese traditional elements, we hung lamps resembling stars on all the trees surrounding the lake. Thanks to that, West Lake now looks like a landscape from a traditional Chinese painting."

Both producer Sha and director Zhang are not stranger to this kind of high-level spectacle.

They were involved in the production of the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, and the evening gala for the 2014 APEC leaders’ meeting in Beijing.

Will the team once again impress the world with their interpretation of Chinese culture and tradition? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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