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Zhang Yimou works on outdoor musical
( 2003-08-19 09:27) (China Daily)

World-renowned Chinese film director Zhang Yimou on Saturday began his direction of a new folk musical, "Liu Sanjie (Third Sister Liu)," in a scenic outdoor setting in Yangshuo County in the city of Guilin, in South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Zhang's idea of presenting the show in a natural setting rather than in a theatre was inspired by the well-known musical film of the same title. The hugely successful 1961 film features a legendary singer and the local culture and customs of ethnic groups in Guangxi.

Women dressed in traditional ethnic costumes line up to welcome visitors to the set of folk musical "Liu Sanjie (Third Sister Liu)." [China Daily]
"The musical is expected to be a success, as we have such beautiful scenery here," Zhang said in Yangshuo, one of the major tourist attractions in China.

He said the musical is a major project for the development of Yangshuo, which has within its borders 54 per cent of the Lijiang River, one of the country's most beautiful water courses.

The performance venue, on a riverbank surrounded by 12 mountains, boasts 2,000 seats, from which the audience can see a panoramic 2-kilometre view.

During the one-hour show, more than 600 local fishermen- turned actors appear on stage dressed in the different ethnic costumes of the Zhuang, Miao and Yao people and sing folk songs popular both at home and overseas.

Mei Shuaiyuan, the show's producer, says the scenery will change as the natural setting changes with the progress of the seasons. He said that the show will pay much attention to environmental protection and that there will be portable toilets at the venue.

According to Mei, the show will be staged every day from October 1 to 7, and will continue to be performed every one or two days after that.

Mei said they have applied to be listed in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the bamboo buildings, which serve as the stage set, and for the real mountain-river backdrop of the show, both claimed to the largest show settings of their kind in the world.

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