Youjian Pingyao

Youjian Pingyao, Pingyao County: Address, Phone Number, Youjian Pingyao Reviews: 5/5

Youjian Pingyao
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32 reviews
Very good

San Francisco, CA77 contributions
From the producers of "Impression LiuSanJie" in Yangshuo and "Impression West Lake" in Hanghzhou, this visually spectacular indoor play in Pingyao premiered in February 2013 in a brand new theatre, built for this show.

The visual effects, costumes, lighting and artistry immediately reminded me of Zhang Yimou's production of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Indeed, Zhang Yimou is one of the 3 directors in the Impression series of shows, though his colleagues Wang Chaoge and Fan Yue produced this Pingyao show.

DESCRIPTION: This show is so unconventional it's hard to describe, and I don't want to give away too many details as the unusual format and the wonder of "what's going to happen next" is part of the fun. So here's the topline scoop:

- It's a 90-minute show: during the first 60 minutes, there is no seating...the audience mingles into various beautiful venues (can't even call them 'stages') and the actors in dramatic Chinese attire perform *amongst* the audience, even engaging the audience to call out, or clap, etc. During the final 30 minutes, the audience is seated into a traditional theater setting to enjoy the finale on stage.

- It's all in Chinese, but even though I went with a bilingual group of Chinese Americans we still couldn't keep up with the words...the story line is quite convoluted. While it would have been nice to follow-along with the words, our group (including non-Chinese-speaking American teenagers) thought it was fantastic without understanding it.

- The show is mostly set in ancient China, with costumes and scenery to match.

Here's the storyline, not that I could quite figure it out:

Click on "Online Appreciation" to see some photos.

PRICE: Original ticket prices of Y298 ($50) were reduced in 2014 to Y198 ($32). A bit pricey but our family rated this show as one of the top things we did on our 18 day trip to China (Our 14-yr old son liked the Pingyao show more than the Yangshuo LiuSanJie show).

NAME OF SHOW: 又见平遥 "you jian ping yao" Encore Pingyao

LOCATION: 山西省晋中市平遥县顺城路154号印象剧场
154 Shuncheng Road, Pingyao, Shanxi

SUMMARY: This show is genius. Highly recommended.
Written July 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Houston, TX94 contributions
we had no idea what to expect when we walked up to the beautiful building built exclusively for this performance. The outside courtyard was beautiful enough with dot lights and streams of lights running down the lanes. We were ushered into the front hall then on into the second theater. There were no seats so the audience just stood around. Soon singing began and the actors came out. About 6 large containers of water were u draped and the guys jumped in - right in front of us! More singing and story began to unfold - all in Chinese. So even though we couldn't understand it, the visual effects were dazzling! And this was only the beginning! The audience was led through into another hall where actors mixed with us, singing and telling the story. We could tell it was about old Pingyao. Hugh drums were pushed down the "street" and then we went into another hall. A Chinese woman explained to us the story is about an old ancient family in Pingyao and what happens to them. Soon girls appeared in a wall and one was chosen to be the wife. Then we went to the "wall scene" which I couldn't even begin to describe if I wanted to. It was mesmerizing and just plain outstanding! Finally we went to the last hall where we sat down to some theatrics using flour like you cannot even begin to imagine!
Yes, we would go again! Yes, we would highly recommend it! Yes, people from all over China will be flocking here to see this event!
Written November 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia2,318 contributions
Other than the very fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site; Pingyao Ancient City & environs, this performance had to be the highlight of our 8-night tour of Shanxi Province. Unlike other "impression" shows around China from Hangzhou to Hainan (which we had the opportunity to experience), this is probably the only one in the series which is substantially interactive and completely "indoors".

The newly purpose-built theatre is modeled more like a movie studio with a series of 'sets' that the audience walks through (there is no seating for the 1st hour of the show) rather than the conventional format with a stage and a seated audience (yes, there is one during the finale). The modern architecture exhibits symbolic reference to what appears to be the roofscape of the old city. Roof tiles are creatively stacked and arranged as decorative elements on the façade. As one enters through portals into the darkened spaces, actors in period costumes are perched at vantage points to guide you through – or you just follow the crowd, which comprise mainly of local Chinese (during our afternoon show).

There are at least 6 different thematic sets. Even if you do not understand the continuous Putonghua narration, the staging is visually captivating, beautifully done and will be able to sustain interest – better still if you understand the language or come with a translator. Lighting is ingeniously used to create textures, backdrops and weather conditions. The costumes are detailed and gorgeous. Some of the most memorable moments were set at the ‘ancient fortress wall’, the ‘selection of the royal concubine’, the ‘bathing scene’ and the ‘noodle-making’ dance – presumably all part of the historical experiences of Pingyao & Shanxi. By now, the ‘Impressions’ series (first created by famous award-winning Chinese director Zhang Yimou) is already well known for its world-class quality and impressive staging. While the other shows in other parts of China take advantage of the natural outdoor scenery of their respective locations, the indoor Pingyao version comes across as being far more intimate and interactive. The audience is part of each scene and often the actors speak directly to you, especially in the ‘street market’ set. This makes Impressions Pingyao unique and more exciting.

Be prepared for a fair amount of jostling (as is expected in this country) for a preferred spot to watch the action at each set. Fortunately the sets are large enough to accommodate everyone very comfortably. You do not need to be close to the actors to hear what they are saying as the sound system is excellent. While photography is apparently not permitted, everyone ignores it. Thankfully most are sensible enough not to use their flashes. After 90 emotional minutes in the darkened stages, you emerge taking with you a better understanding of the rich Shanxi history & Pingyao pride. This comes highly recommended!
Written September 16, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Greater Wellington, New Zealand405 contributions
Situated in a huge Theatre that opened in 2013 this is a larger than life show of the story of the famous Banker Mr Zhou who got 232 Body Guards to go and rescue the son of Mr Wang from his Bank Branch in Russia. It's very interactive, great street scenes of Pingyao daily life, walking with the Actors and cast for 1 hour through the story line and streets finishing in a sit down Theatre performance for 30 minutes. If you are a foreigner you need someone with you, eg guide/translator, otherwise the story will be lost and you won't know what's going on. Ticket prices for Adults were RMB 198 each. There is another option of RMB 398 with translator. If you can get your own guide or translator, or Chinese friend to give you the story tale. It lasts 1 1/2 hours. Big new modern theatre, great lighting and visuals. Worth seeing.
Written August 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jack P
Brisbane, Australia26 contributions
This is unbelievable. My Beijing friend took me here (I'm from Australia) and he kept telling me it's "a theatre show but they are standing in the crowd with you) which I couldn't really imagine.

Honestly I didn't understand a single word, but I was in awe at the performance. The music, choreography, lighting and acting were INCREDIBLE! I felt like crying 1/2 way through because I could just feel the pure emotion in the air around me, and people were actually crying! My friend broke down towards the very end and said if I could understand, I would also be crying.

Honestly, I will never forget this experience. Never in a million years. I really could never have expected it to be this incredible but honestly, it was.

PLEASE do yourself a favour and see this, PLEASE!
Written March 3, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Madrid, Spain2,041 contributions
This is a must see live show when you are in Pingyao County, Shanxi Province in China. The performance was brilliant and also interactive. The audience soon became part of the performance and together we went back through ancient history. I really liked the beautiful scenes, music and the wonderful story. I have never seen such a realistic and outstanding performance in China. I loved it very much!
Only problem is that when the show finished, they should open more gate doors and make them more wider so that it is not such a crowd crush. Otherwise, perfect.
Written September 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chengdu, China2,052 contributions
Despite being all in Chinese this piece of immersive theatre is a MUST see. It would be helpful if someone could run the story of the Wang family by you beforehand, but even if you don't you will be amazed. The show takes you back 150 years and allows you to walk through the streets of Pingyao at the end of the Qing dynasty. Part of the story tells of the ghosts of the fallen soldiers returning to Pingyao and emerging from the city walls. Shown twice daily I cannot recommend this highly enough.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shanghai, China240 contributions
Youjian Pingyao is an incredible interactive theatre performance piece in Pingyao. It is beautiful designed and choreographed. Pingyao was on my bucket list already for a while. Pingyao after all is nice but a bit disappointing; a day visit would have been enough. This changed, with this show; more visitors will stay overnight to see it. The adult tickets are 238rmb, but they can be purchased online for half of the price, just look around carefully.

Ping Yao's theatre is just 100m outside the city walls, depending where you stay, there is also transportation available for little money. The plot of the play is the dramatic story of a military escort with rescue mission of the last heir to a large business who had been kidnapped for ransom. You can walk round and practically enter the set, with about 15 minutes in each section of the sets to walk round and interact with the people and places. One was how the warriors were recruited and left their wives; one was a busy market street, with people shouting out their wares, pickpockets stealing money and being chased down the road and women hanging out washing to dry. There were funny and also tragic parts to the play, and a moving finish.

When coming to the last part, it is performed at a proper stage with rows of seats, be quick to get the best seats – crowds are pushy. It’s good to know basic Chinese, but it can be understood without as well. Nevertheless the experience is incredible.
Written July 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

173 contributions
Wonderful and unexpected interactive experience, it combines all kind of performing and visual arts in a great location, with modern technology and great performances, to show the history of Pingyao people and the legacy of their ancestors. Even if you don't speak a word of chinese, you'll enjoy the beauty and complexity of the scenes, you'll understand the big picture, and you probably will be glad if you can return to see it one more time. Ask for the "new" show about Pingyao (there is another one).
Written November 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Menno V
Havana, Cuba2 contributions
The show is in Chinese language only and it helps if somebody explains the storyline or you can go with a guide/translator who can explain during the show.
We only had a brief overview of the storyline and that helped a great deal.
The show is incredible interactive. The audience is moving around. Impressive lightning, sounds, costumes, decor.
One and a half hour full of entertainment. Try to go if you can.
Written July 11, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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