Nine years ago, Belgian show director Franco Dragone brought his inspirational creativity to Macau with Asia’s first large-scale water-themed show, The House of Dancing Water. Ever since, the HK$2 billion world-class production presented by Melco Resorts and Entertainment has been staged at City of Dreams to rapturous applause from visitors.
The House of Dancing Water recently ushered in its 9th anniversary. After nine years of non-stop resident shows, the world-renowned theatrical extravaganza has staged more than 3,700 performances, delighting more than six million people.
For all of this time, the majestic theater, with a 270-degree stage, has told a love story through time and space, with some of the most incredible acrobatic and dance performances seen anywhere in the world. And for most of this time, the lead role of a beautiful princess has been played by Faye Leung.
A prominent name in the ballet world, Leung left her position as lead dancer of the Hong Kong Ballet to join the founding team of The House of Dancing Water. Nine years on, she has no regrets, as her life has been somewhat like the fairytale of the show’s story.
“My partner will change every 3-5 years, so I have a new ‘love story’ from time to time,” says Leung. However, one of these was the man who really did capture her heart: her husband, who was the lead character of the first show. Moreover, they have had a daughter together, a real-life princess.
“Macau has become my second home. I am very happy to be here,” says Leung, adding that she will continue in the performance as long as her physical condition permits. “For me, age is just a number.”
The show’s resident artistic director, Pierre Phaneuf, points out that the show’s relationship with its audience is, in fact, changing all the time. Changes in lighting, sound, and music will always provide audiences with a different viewing experience. What is more important, he notes, is the actors’ understanding and delivery of the script’s potential.
Phaneuf understands deeply the purpose of Dragone’s creation. “Franco Dragone once told me that he would not leave anything in writing when he created the show,” he says. “He wanted it to evolve with the times – if there is something in writing, people will be trying to repeat the same thing all the time. Franco wanted the actors to fully express their roles and give the audience a different experience all the time.”
City of Dreams continues its investment into the show over the years. The House of Dancing Water had just undertaken a-10-week remaster program to enable a major equipment renovation and upgrade. The intention was clear——to keep the show going at an extraordinary level.
What changes can we expect? What will The House of Dancing Water bring to us in its next stage? Phaneuf remains coy. Stay tuned.