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Why Impression Westlake is special ?
Impression West Lake is a spectacle of light, music, dance and theatrics. The story is based on a Hangzhou legend (somewhat lost on foreigners, but that does not detract from enjoyment). Using the lake and its surroundings as props, lights and hundreds of actors create a sensational performance. Similar performances are staged in Yangshuo and Lijiang. Hangzhou’s Impression West Lake is certainly not to be missed.
It is a unique outdoor performance on natural settings. Staged on the West Lake, the performance appears vivid and incredibly beautiful. Mixed with the myths and legends of the West Lake, the show leads you to a sweet thousand-year dream. The special concealable auditorium ensures each seat a wonderful place to enjoy the dazzling show. The state-of-the-art sound system is surely to offer a surprising musical enjoyment. Be sure to catch it, the show is a must-see when you come to Hangzhou. Come and enjoy the most amazing and beautiful spectacle you will see in your life.
What to explore at Impression Westlake?
Another Zhang Yimou Masterpiece
This night show is directed by Zhang Yimou (张艺谋), Wang Chaoge (王潮歌), and Fan Yue (樊越), the "iron triangle" of live performance. They have directed many famous shows like Impression Liu Sanjie(in Yangshuo, Guilin) and Impression Lijiang(in Lijiang, Yunnan). It took them three years from preparation to public performance.
The song "Impression of West Lake" at the end is sang by Jane Zhang (张靓颖), a famous Chinese singer.
Live Performance on West Lake
The stage is just above the water of the lake. There are lifting platforms in the water, and hundreds of actors perform on them. You will see them dance seemingly on the lake, like fairies. The grand open-air show brings its audience into the imaginary wonders of West Lake's natural and cultural beauty.
Five Acts Tell a Beautiful but Sad Story
Part 1. Encounter
A white crane flies in from the distance, and changes into a handsome guy. At the same time, another white crane flies in and changes into a beautiful girl. They meet each other and dance together. Their love token is an umbrella (usually a taboo token in China as ‘umbrella' is pronounced like ‘leaving' in Chinese).
Part 2. Falling in Love
They fall in love with each other. From spring to winter, the flowers bloom and fade. They walk on the bridge hand in hand, and see the fishes have fun in the lake. From day to night, they make their covenant of love.
Part 3. Farewell
A happy time is always so fleeting... The music becomes rapid suddenly. The beautiful girl is struggling in the grip of fate, longing not to leave. With the drum beating and splashing water, the story enters the leaving scene. The girl is gone. Maybe she has turned back into a white crane and can only live in the young man's mind.
Part 4. Memory
Memory is a river, crystal clear at the source, at its end it's diluted and dispersed. In his mind, his memory begins as a crystal spring. She is gone, but the memory is still so beautiful. It's raining, and he hears her voice asking him to bring an umbrella.
Part 5. Impression
With the mood of regret and sadness, the young man comes down to earth. The love story he has abides as just an impression, seemingly no more than a dream. It will be kept in his heart forever. No matter how time flies, he will always remember the time of love.
How to get to Impression Westlake?
1. From Hangzhou International Airport: Airport Bus to Aviation Ticking Office, then take a taxi to the show avenue (about 15RMB)
2. From Hangzhou Railway Station: Take K7 or K27 to Yue Fei Temple Stop
3. From East Railway Station: Take No.28 Bus to ZheDaFuZhong Stop, then take No.81 Bus to Yue Fei Temple Stop
4. From East Coach Station: Take No.28 Bus to ZheDaFuZhong Stop, then take No.81 Bus to Yue Fei Temple Stop
- “Amazing show, amazing stage”
- “Visual uniqueness”
- “Impressive show in a spectacular setting.”
- “Amazing Experience!”
- “Most extraordinary show!”
- Noise level Small
- Budget Medium
- Alcohol NO
- Air condition NO
- Had kid menu NO
- Accept credit card NO
- Serve breakfast NO
- Serve halal NO
- Serve vegeterian NO
No.29 Yanggongdi, Hangzou 310013, China
Tips for you
What an amazing experience to see this romantic folk tale set on the waters of West Lake. The lighting was spectacular & highlighted the beauty of the lake's surroundings. The music was good & the huge cast & choreography were breathtaking. Although the evening was warm we were cold & damp sitting by the edge of the lake for over an hour! So take a jacket.
Impression Westlake is a 1-hour award winning open-air musical extravaganza created by renowned film director, Zhang Yimou on the West Lake of Hangzhou at night. A dazzling light display turns the lake’s natural surroundings into an intricate part of the show. The stage was built 3cm below the water. The performers seem to be walking, running, dancing on the water. The story is based on the local folklore “The Legend of the White Snake” – one of West Lake’s most famous legends set in the Southern Song Dynasty. Kitaro, the music director, is still at his best after so many years of magical and glorious musical landscapes. The pieces here are different from his 80’s and 90’s style, but it still has the core elements that he has been using all of this time. The beautiful melodies and themes from impressions west lake were so hauntingly beautiful, it gave me goosebumps listening to it. The best way to enjoy the show is to simply sit back and absorb it for it’s visual uniqueness. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…
Amazingly photographic show from the same director as the opening ceremony. VIP seats are on a boat with a roof