HAMBURG, Germany—Cornelius Baltus, the artistic director of Hamburg’s Theater at the Harbor where the Chinese Spectacular played on Monday evening, said he was impressed by the array of colors and stylistic aspects of the show.
“All those people on stage deliver a marvelous effect. The waterfall is grandiose; with only a piece of silk fabric, the many women moving these pieces of fabric about definitely creates the illusion of a waterfall,” he said during the intermission.
Baltus is involved in work for the musical The Lion King, which he says is also a foreign cultural experience for Germany. The Theater at the Harbor has been the venue for the The Lion King since 2001.
“These simple pieces of stage craft create huge effects, and that is what I consider typically Chinese; and the gentleness — something that is lacking in The Lion King, which is more earthy with too much drumming and dancing.”
“I have to agree that the stylistics of the [Spectacular] and its peculiarities interest me greatly. It allows me to take in another type of performance, from a different culture. I am enjoying this evening immensely."
“I also like the color palette, stylized but executed with a delicate hand, and all done with precision — I like that. It is stylized, elegantly portrayed,” he said, describing the drum segment, Victory Drums, as “tremendous.”
“The show touches on several topics, all of China's history. In my mind the show is a kind of Chinese Revue, but in a positive manner,” said Baltus, adding that the term revue sometimes has a negative connotation, meaning something trashy, “but this show is absolutely not like that.
“It is more like a painting. One allows the colors to immerse one into the country's impressions, and the unusual music is something completely foreign to our ears. It takes a while to get used to this. But once one has accustomed the hearing, one seems to float with the melodies.”
He said he felt light after watching the performance: “I do feel light. I could have some tea and light a candle for my Buddha. Life is good, I would say.”
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