‘Zen Shaolin,’ is an outdoor spectacle and tourist attraction in Henan Province, China. The extravaganza, with a cast of 500, is staged after nightfall in a valley that sits before a huge mountain in central Henan Province, one of the cradles of Chinese civilization.
For those who were dazzled by the opening of the Beijing Olympics earlier this month, that ceremony had its roots in shows like this one, which with government backing and private financing are drawing huge audiences to some of China’s most scenic or historic spots.
The outdoor performances are part cultural event, part tourist attraction, with a dash of Hollywood and an intriguing blend of high and pop culture.
In the new China, investors and the government can team up to acquire a mountain, hire the Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun and the internationally known dancer and choreographer Huang Dou Dou, and produce a spectacle that includes monks from the famed Shaolin Temple.
The project’s investors spent more than $15 million to build a theater set in a valley below three mountains, one rising 4,921 feet, with temples, a wooden pagoda, a martial-arts school, an arched bridge, a stream and a small village with a stone pathway.
One of the hopes of the producers was that “Zen Shaolin,” which opened in May 2007, would bolster tourism in a province that has 100 million residents and has largely been left behind by China’s economic boom. Much more HERE.
Source: New York Times