Hi guys, I just came back from Macau two days ago from the official media launch of the House of Dancing Water at City of Dreams. Thanks to the nice people at Fleishman Hillard, I was one of the three media (the other two being TheStar and Nuyou) from Malaysia to be invited to this event. It was definitely an eye opening experience and I had lots of fun.
FYI the House of Dancing Water is the world’s largest and most spectacular water extravaganza costing HKD 2 billion+ (USD 250 million) This production is the brainchild of Mr. Lawrence Ho and personally created and directed by Mr. Franco Dragone, one of the world’s greatest show maker.
I will write briefly about my three days spent in Macau and also show some photos from the show, then followed by a more detailed one later.
City of Dreams is located along the Cotai strip sitting on the Cotai reclamation area in Macau. The name ‘Cotai’ comes from the fact that it sits between Taipa Island and Coloane Island. Convenient naming eh?
Anyway, City of Dreams is constructed in the style of a podium with four towers: Hard Rock Hotel, Crown Towers Hotel and the Grand Hyatt Macau, it also has three casinos, lots of restaurants and high-end retail shops for the jet setting shoppers.
City of Dream’s design is heavily influenced by water, a huge reason why the concept of a ‘Dancing Water Theater’ was born. And if you notice, the walls have a shape of water ripple. For the Chinese, water is an important element especially when it comes to Feng Shui.
For the first night I was staying at the Grand Hyatt Macau. Seriously, I didn’t expect to stay in such a nice hotel, must have been my lucky day.
The view from my hotel room, on the right is the Macau East Asian Games Dome, a major venue for the 2005 East Asian Games.
My first ever media-pass. It’s great to know blogs in Malaysia are getting the due recognition apart from the traditional media like newspaper and magazines.
The media from Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan got to interview the main casts of the show in person. From left to right: Ana Arroyo from Spain portraying the Serpent Queen, Jesko von den Steinen from Canada playing the Stranger and Faye Leung from China as the Princess.
The ‘Dancing Water Theater‘ is a 270-degree theater-in-the-round, with a central stage at a diameter of approximately 65 feet. Before we interviewed the main casts, we got the opportunity see the theater before the scheduled media launch. The performers were still rehearsing then.
Then we were treated to a 8-course Chinese dinner at Treasure Palace restaurant. The food we had were specially designed by Martin Yan (from Yan can cook) and Tam Kwok Fung, a Michelin Star Chef and also former World Champion of Chiense cooking. Besides being the Executive Chinese Chef of City of Dreams, Tam is a master of integrating Chinese medicine into his dishes, as showcased by his series of dishes.
Realizing the tight schedule and the little time that we had, Sebastian (from TheStar) and I walked across the street from City of Dreams to The Venetian, probably one of the most recognized casino-resort in Macau.
For me, The Venetian to City of Dreams is like Sunway Pyramid to Pavilion, with the formers being themed (Venice and Egypt) and the latter classy and modern.
Since I went to Venice just two months ago, I am able to make the comparison here. The architects really put a lot of effort in recreating the Venice feel and it’s strong. The nicest thing should be the sky-painted-ceiling, which feels to move too when you’re walking.
Next day, breakfast at Mezza 9 @ Grand Hyatt.
Then we checked into Hard Rock Hotel.
I feel the view from Hard Rock Hotel is better compared to Grand Hyatt’s because you have The Venetian on your left, a pool in the center and Grand Hyatt on your right. If you think it looks nice now, wait till you see the night view.
The first half of the second day passed quite quickly without any significant events so I spent most of the time at the media centre browsing the internet. Shown here is a gift pen from City of Dreams that came along with our press kits.
The real press conference took place in the evening attended by about 300 media from all around the world. A 5 min footage of the making of the ‘Dancing Water Theater’ was shown, followed by speeches from Mr. Lawrence Ho and Mr Franco Dragone respectively. A Q&A session was held later too.
This was my first time attending such a huge press conference and I gotta say it was an eye opener. You would have expected reporters to ask questions about the show but they had to ask about some land deal thingy instead lol. Anyway, Faye and Jesko made a quick appearance too.
After the press conference, let the biggest water-based show begin! This was the shipwreck scene at the beginning of the show.
Before the arrival of the Serpent Queen.
The Princess dancing, seemingly able to control the water around her.
Appearance of a Chinese pavilion from the water, where the Stranger and Princess would meet.
But they were attacked, and the Princess was kidnapped again. Then the pavilion disappeared into the water in front of the awed spectators.
Clever use of water sprinklers and lightings to create a snowing scene.
The Serpent Queen and her minions’ dance movements are kinda wicked and zombie-like, just like how evil characters are typically portrayed.
Yet another clever use of water and lightings to create a 3D effect. It almost felt like watching a 3D movie but everything is really happening in front of your eyes, not through fancy 3D glasses.
Judging from the crowd’s reaction, the motorcycle daredevils’ stunts were the most enjoyable and got the crowd roaring. To tell you the truth, the stunts they did were much more dangerous than anything you have seen on TV. Getting to see that in real is probably worth at least half the ticket price.
After a breathtaking show and a good night sleep, it was time to go home. But not before having a great breakfast at Hard Rock Hotel’s R Bar. Overall, although my trip to Macau is not a really a vacation type, there was still a lot of fun and great memories.
Most importantly there were a lot of firsts for me as well like for example, first among the world to watch this spectacular show (even before the VIPs!), first time visiting Macau, first time tasting Michelin Star food, first time attending a media launch and so much more. In my next post I will be talking about nothing but the show only, so stay tuned if this interests you!