Deep impact

Updated: 2011-03-25 08:12

By Chen Nan (China Daily)

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Deep impact 

Olympic champion diver He Zi plays the lead role of Cai Yun in the water show Extraordinary Journey. Photos provided to China Daily


Olympic champions He Chong and He Zi dive into a whole new experience at the Water Cube. Chen Nan reports.

Olympic champions He Chong and He Zi have spent most of their lives in the pool, having taken to diving when they were just 6 and forging a strong friendship as members of the national team.

The two athletic stars will once again get together, this time for Extraordinary Journey, a grand water show which will be held at the Water Cube, Beijing National Aquatics Center, on April 1 and 2.

It will also feature famous pop stars from Hong Kong, Taiwan and the mainland, such as Wang Lee-hom, Eason Chan, Li Yuchun and Hsiao Ching-teng.

According to Hong Kong's award-winning music composer Peter Kam Pui-tat, also the show's music director, its main theme is environmental protection. The story is told through two young people, who survive dangerous icebergs, deep seas, dark forests and raging fires, before finding the "crystal of water" that will save the Earth's water sources. In the course of their mission to protect the Earth, they also fall in love.


Deep impact

The Water Cube offers many possibilities for stage settings.

Kam says 4D techniques will be employed to present the show.

"4D multimedia technology is becoming popular around the world and I want to use it in the stage design to give the audience a fresh experience.

"The venue itself also offers many possibilities for our stage setting and visual effects. I believe the audiences will witness a miracle."

Kam says the show will also be a test of the use of 4D technology for a stage show. He plans to take it to other cities if it clicks, he adds.

For the actors, especially the athletes who have no acting experience, the most daunting challenge will be coordinating their moves with the visual effects.

"I was surprised when approached to take part in the show," says He Zi, 21, who plays the lead role of Cai Yun, a brave and optimistic girl. "My life has always been all about water, climbing onto diving boards of varying heights again and again and leaping into the water below. All I can think of is the coaches' instructions and my movements. Jumping into the pool with acting on my mind is a totally new experience."

He Chong, 24, shares these sentiments.

"Like He Zi, I have a strong connection to water and diving. I like singing and dancing in my spare time. But performing on stage is a first, and I sense the pressure," he says.


Deep impact

4D multimedia technology will give the audience a fresh experience.

"It definitely feels very different to standing on the medals podium and (gives me) a different sense of achievement," he adds.

But both say they are looking forward to the performances as they are being held at a venue that is special to every Chinese diver.

The two young athletes are also excited about performing with their idols.

Eason Chen, who is He Chong's favorite singer, will play the evil god of fire. This character creates all the obstacles that stand in the way of the couple getting to the "crystal of water".

"I like the role and I asked for it," Chen says.

Deep impact

Taiwan singer-songwriter, Wang Lee-hom plays the god of water who fights the god of fire to help the couple.

Former Super Girl champion Li Yuchun, will show her comic side by playing a sweet fairy, who dances and sings with the couple as they embark on their water quest.

The Taiwan singer-songwriter Hsiao Ching-teng, who plays the ice prince, says: "I stand on a 10-meter high diving board and sing songs.

"I cannot imagine how I will look."

All proceeds from the show will go to the Chinese Athletes Educational Foundation to fund professional training and English teaching for Chinese athletes.


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