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The Song Of Everlasting Sorrow

The Song Of Everlasting Sorrow


The Song of Everlasting Sorrow is renowned outdoor spectacle, famous with Chinese visitors and Foreign visitor. Hosted outside of Xi'an at the Huaqing Hotsprings, close to the Terracotta Army Mausoleum. Huaqing Hot Springs used to be the place where Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty and Yang Yuhuan, his favorite concubine, bathed. The setting is the scene for the moving but sorrowful love story between the two, written into a long narrative poem called The Song of Everlasting Sorrow by Bai Juyi (772-846), a famous realist poet of the Tang Dynasty. Now the poem has been adapted to a large-scale historical drama presented in the evening at the Huaqing Hot Springs.

Set at Lishan Mountain, the drama is presented on the Nine-Dragon Lake surrounded by pavilions, corridors, palaces and willows. Sound and lighting techniques and the deftly designed stage achieve the right blend of history and realism, nature and culture to deliver a magnificent and genuine feel, with both a fabricated and outdoor setting intertwined.


Background of The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, an epic poem by Bai Juyi on the romance between Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and his concubine Yang Yuhuan, is performed as a dance drama at night from April to October. As hundreds of dancers gather around a pool, numerous lights twinkle in the mountain, making the show a spectacle. It has been viewed by more than 3.1 million people in the past eight years since it started, according to its producer, Zhang Xiaoke. Other than rich cultural elements, "advanced technology in lighting and 3-D imagery and real historical stories" are needed to make such a large-scale project successful, he says.


What's Special about The Song of Everlasting Sorrow

This is genuine performance in the country that can boast of strong storyline and natural setting. "It's about the Chinese philosophy-the harmony between humans and nature. The best culture, together with the prettiest scenery, make the other look wonderful." Many Chinese and foreign tourists can soak in local culture and an area's history by going to such shows and the basic rule for making such shows work is to weave local life into the performances.

It's staged against the backdrop of real mountains, lakes and an ancient architectural complex instead of a theatre and revive a complete historical love story at the very scene of its occurrence. The Song of Everlasting Show is utilized a lifting stage through water, Vegas-style pyrotechnics, and the largest foldable LED screen in Asia. It is a visual triumph, combining music, dance, lavish costumes, dazzling lights, and a unique stage that is partially submerged in a lake.

Efficient management can ensure two performances a night, including getting an audience of up to 2,500 people to enter and exit the area during a 15-minute break. The open-air arena also provides for the distribution of raincoats among audience members on rainy evenings. 

The Song of Everlasting Sorrow has won several top accolades and awards and has been crowned as one of China’s must-see performances. It has been performed over 1500 times and attracted more than 2 million visitors since 2007. It has the involvement of over 300 professional artists and features costumes and props that are a feast for the eyes, music to move and touch the soul and the most magnificent setting. The show itself is a tour-de-force that literally leaves the audience gasping.


Main Highlights

The Song of Evelasting Show is rated as one of the best shows in China. Set at the foot of Mount Li in Lintong District at the Huaqing Palace, better known as the Huaqing Pools. Based on the touching story of an emperor and his concubine, the show allows the audience to travel back in time to appreciate the love that happened at the foot of Lishan Mountain and the bank of Huaqing Pool 1000 years ago, and experience the culture of the flourishing Tang Dynasty. The Song of Everlasting Sorrow is based on the true-life love story between Xuan Zong, the Emperor of the Tang Dynasty, and Yang Yuhuan, his favorite concubine. Their love and passion for each other created music and dance within the palace, all captured in this magnificent performance in the following nine parts.

Floating on the rippling surface of the Nine-Dragon Lake is a lotus blossom. Out of it sails a beautiful lady with a silk shawl. Her delicate figure and creamy face dazzle the lush, green mountains and blurs the trees and imperial pavilions in the fog.


Part 1: Chosen to Attend to the Emperor
The charming lady Yang enters the imperial palace under Emperor Xuanzong's orders. Her beauty outshines that of the other ladies in the palace. The emperor is greatly enraptured by her pretty face and bestows a floral-patterned gilded box upon her as a token of love. Then a ceremony of conferring titled Imperial Concubine is held.

Part 2: Whispering to Each Other
The stars are sparkling and the moon is like a hook. Looking up at the sky, the couple whispers at midnight to express their devoted love to each other.

Part 3: Bathing in the Huaqing Hot Springs
With a group of palace maids by her side, Yang wears a thin chiffon blouse, which barely covers her bosom. Through the thin curtain of a waterfall, the charming figures of Yang and the maids form a picture of bathing ladies in the hot springs.

Part 4: The Lishan Palace Reaches the Sky
When An Lushan, a border defense minister, meets the emperor and the concubine, he introduces the popular Tartar dances. The Tartar elements add vitality to the Tang civilization. With great joy and excitement, Yang cannot help but join in the passionate dance.

Part 5: Getting Drunk in the Marble Pavilion
After getting drunk at a banquet in the Jade Tower, the concubine waves as the willows dance in spring breeze and moves like a glow of mist over a lazy stream. The manner of her walk reveals her fascinating charm.

Part 6: Heavenly Music Carried by the Wind Far and Wide
At the foot of Lishan Mountain, the theater of the imperial palace is filled with glorious lamps, stunning curtains and charming dancers and singers. The concubine dances with the opera singers among the lotus flowers. The emperor joins in the dance with his lady. They look at each other with affection.

Part 7: Battle Drums From Yuyang Shaking the Earth
An Lushan rebels and the capital city is in danger. The flames of war burn the lotus curtain and the emperor's throne to ashes. The love story comes to an end, and so too the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty.

Part 8: Hairpins Fall to the Ground Unwanted
The emperor flees to Maweipo with his concubine. The soldiers demand the execution of the concubine to save the country. The couple has no choice and Yang is eventually hanged under the bleak moonlight. Sad songs linger long in the cold valley.

Part 9: Meeting Again in Heaven
On a windy, snowy day, the emperor returns to the capital. The smiling and beautiful face of Yang is lingering in his memory. In his dreams, they meet again in a fairyland where they exchange their love in tears.


How to get to there

1. From Xi'an Railway Station
    You can take bus No. 306, 914, 915 and get off Huaqing Hot Spring Stop
2. From Xi'an North Station
    You can take free shuttle bus to there
3. From Xi'an Airport
    There are three shuttle buses every day, it costs around CNY 30.
    The shuttle schedule: 10:30, 13:00, 16:30

Ticket Fee: CNY 238, CNY268 for Eastern and western areas
                   CNY 298 for Central area
                   CNY 988, CNY888, CNY588 for VIP area
Show Time:  Thur to Sat: 20:10-- 21:20; 21:40--22:50
                      Sun to Wed: 20:30--21:40
Opening Time: 1st, Apr. to 31th, Oct.

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