Zhenjiang Case Study

Zhenjiang, historic capital of Jiangsu province, close to Nanjing the former capital of China, is the home of Jinshan temple which plays a major role in the famous Chinese legend of Lady White Snake. In 2012 discussions began about the possibility of portraying the legend in the form of a regular outdoor public performance including projection, lighting, music, fountains and live action. A perfect location for the show on the shore of Jinshan lake was chosen, and after much discussion and pre-planning by Beijing Youdian Yinxiang Culture Ltd (BYYC) in association with Attractions Audio Visual Ltd (AAV), work began in early 2013 on the construction of a large amphitheatre within direct view of the famous Jinshan temple.

As construction progressed, the creative design of the show by BYYC, AAV and Beijing Dance Academy (BDA) evolved both in the detailed storyline and the choice of audio-visual media, water effects, and stage format. Dance choreography was created for the different sections of the show, performers selected and rehearsals begun. Meanwhile, site construction by Zhenjiang Water Conservancy Investment Ltd. continued in earnest with the show opening date of April 28 2014 having been decided. Installation of stage, audio-visual and water effect equipment progressed steadily while storyboarding and scripting of the show, video production and shooting took place, right up to the commencement of show rehearsals and programming.

The legend involves people and water, so the main performance area is a man-made lake containing a huge, unique, forty-segment moving stage by Beijing Dong Rui Qi Lin Stage Machinery Structure Ltd (BDRQL) forming a dynamic platform for the performers. Each 3m x 3m stage segment can rise independently up to 4m above the water and 0.5m below. At the front and rear of the stage are floating fountain systems (by AAV) capable of being commanded to sink below the water surface when not required. Giant water screens (also by AAV) built onto the fountains provide surfaces for video projection, while additional mist jets and arch jets support laser projection and laser effects. Flame effects (by AAV) are also included. On either side, structures in the form of giant rocks have been created to support a complex dynamic fly-wire suspension system for performers by Beijing Weiya Chuanmai Wires Ltd. (BWCW). A narrow strip of land to the rear of the performance area supports the audio visual projection rooms (containing two 20,000 lumen video projectors, three 22 watt multi-colour lasers, three 10 watt yellow lasers, and six 1200 watt moving lights) as well as additional stage lighting equipment. Pyrotechnic effects are also launched from here for special shows.

The installation is augmented by a sophisticated stage lighting system by Guangzhou Cai Yi Lighting Ltd. (GCYL) including radio-linked lighting of the Jinshan temple. Music and narration is carried by a large-scale auditorium sound system by Guangzhou Li Feng Culture Ltd. (GLFC) while the hard-of-hearing are not forgotten by the inclusion of a large-format LED caption display.

Show control is provided from a row of control rooms to the rear of the auditorium. From here show computers (by AAV) send control signals to all peripheral equipment via wire and fibre-optic cables to maintain synchronism of all elements of the show. Equipment rooms to the side and rear of the stage contain the moving stages’ forty motor and cable drive sets, multiple fountain and water screen pump interfaces, and fire effect equipment.

The end result is a sophisticated and exciting performance enjoyed by local, provincial, and foreign audiences alike, telling the “Legend of Lady White Snake” in a new and dynamic way.