Part Singing in the Rain, part Chinese folktale, part synchronized swimming competition and part Evil Knievel stunt show, the House of Dancing Water is completely unique and truly spectacular. Featuring water stunts, circus acrobatics, theater, Chinese and Western classical music, and, of course, some Kung Fu, this is a sit back in your seat, be amazed, slap-bang blockbuster.
Boiled down, it’s a circus on and in water. Hosted at the City of Dreams casino resort, the show is set in a purpose built, 260-degree theater, and the stage is a pool 160 feet in diameter and 26 feet deep. It’s said to hold 3.7 million gallons of water, the same as 5 Olympic swimming pools. The show’s acrobats and dancers dance and dive through 280 independent fountains and beneath the glow of hundreds of flashing spotlights.
Created by award-winning producer Franco Dragone, the show took five years to pull together and cost $250 million to stage. There are set pieces with motorbikes, acrobats performing death-defying dives into the water and huge set-piece ships rising out of the floor. The pace is relentless, with the stage constantly shifting between pool and solid floor and dozens of performers constantly whirring around. 80 minutes of pure adrenaline.
There is a story in the show—apparently. It’s got a King and Queen, a Princess in need of rescue, and a hero. Set in what is probably imperial China, it’s a familiar tale of good vs evil with a linear plot that has been played out in a hundred Hollywood films. Yet, despite the predictable plot it also manages to be absolutely baffling—if you can work out what the motorbike riders have to do with the story you’ll be the first audience member yet.
It’s a disappointment because while these shows are certainly sold for their all singing, all dancing entertainment, more attention to the story could make them even better. It’s too basic a story to keep you interested, yet at points, you’ll have absolutely clue why something is happening. Not a winning mix.
Ignore the poor storyline and go and see the House of the Dancing Water. It’s 80 minutes of truly spectacular action. The Kung Fu and wire stunts owe much too Cantonese culture’s martial arts culture and it’s incredible to see them in a theatrical setting, while the motorcycle stunts are absolute scene stealers.
With the decline of ZAIA at the Venetian Macau, the House of Dancing Water is by far and away the best show in Macau. if you stump up for just one show, this should be the one.
Demand for House of the Dancing Water tickets is high and you’re advised to book ahead. Prices range from HK$480 – HK$880, excluding pricey VIP tickets. It’s also worth mentioning that seats in the front few rows are close to the stage and you will get splashed and get wet. Kids seem to love it while adults who have to sit through 80 minutes in damp Levis are usually less impressed. There are usually at least two shows daily.
There are also tickets available as part of hotel stay packages at the Hard Rock Hotel in Macau although you won't generally be saving a huge deal of the face price of tickets.