Tibetan and Qiang Dance Performance
Folk Art Centre (a/k/a Shangri-La Performance Hall) Next to New Jiuzhaigou Hotel, Jiuzhaigou, China
Tibetan and Qiang Dance Performance Jiuzhaigou Reviews
Interesting dance show, but with some question marks Oct 19, 2012
In Jiuzhaigou there are several places where you can visit a traditional Tibetan / Qiang minority dance show. While there is one at the Sheraton Hotel (called Zang Mi show) as well, and several others, we went to see the show at the Folk Art Centre, located next to the New Jiuzhaigou hotel.
The information that you find on web-sites about this show (I can't speak for the others) is not always entirely correct. For example, we did not get offered yak meat before the show, no Tibetan butter tea, let alone that there was a whole grilled sheep. We did not expect so, but some web-sites make mention of this and it is not correct, not for the show that we went to anyway.
The show is a mix of dance, music with traditional Tibetan instruments, singing and costumes. It is colorful and vivid, but there are some negatives too.
First of all the organization. It took quite a while, maybe till 15 minutes after the show started, that people still walk in and have been helped to their seats. Maybe it was only this time and maybe it was due to a particular tour group, but this was quite annoying. Also a bit annoying is that every three seats or so have a plastic stick with three "hands" mounted on it, to add to the noise by "plastic applause". Maybe it is tradition, but I found it annoying, especially at the beginning of the show...
But the most annoying is the poor quality of the sound system, which makes that some of the singing came across as quite shreeking. Not with all the performances but especially with one of the women singing already loud and high by herself.
Given the fact that the vast majority of the visitors come from other Chinese provinces, the Tibetan prayer at the start of the show (everybody was requested to stand up) came across to me as not so genuine, a bit over the top. But on the other hand, the performers are mostly from here, except some of the dancers, and the people next to me from Xinjiang experienced this moment as something solemn.
For the rest it was an interesting, colorful show and at times funny too. The songs are performed in the local languages and are therefore not understandable for most people, but the music, the rythm, the colors, the dances and the costumes made more than good for that. Unlike the show in the Sheraton (hearsay), there is no explanation or translation in English during the show.
Interesting was also that some popular, contempary elements were brought in by a locally very popular group of male singers/dancers. It gave some variety to the show.
Towards the end there was a dance which is a hybrid between dance performance and traditional form of shawl pulling in which some people from the audience were invited and the winner won the "right to marry" the girl of the show.
The acts were talked together by a presenter, also in local traditional dress, who anchored the program in Mandarin.
It was definitely an entertaining show. But with the above criticism and knowing that the price is RMB 150 per person (of which apparently 20% for whoever sells the ticket), you may want to do some comparitive research about the other similar programs offered in town...
Part of the Jiuzhaigou (China), Malaysia, Singapore Autumn 2012 travel blog
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