Huaqing Hot Spring had being used as the royal hot spring bathing spot for tens of centuries. In Chinese history many famous achieved Emperors bathed in Huaqing Hot Spring. The best known one should be Emperor Xuanzong due to his moving love story with Lady Yang. The late Tang Dynasty poet Bai Juyi recorded this part of history in his poem Song of Everlasting Sorrow. And with the development of tourism, a popular night show Everlasting Sorrow Performance was created based on the poem.
The open-air performance take Hishan Hill as the background and Jiulong Lake (nine-dragon lake) as the stage. The palaces, pavilions, corridors and willows in lake area are used as props. The advanced high technology are applied to create starry sky, smoky forest and water fall, and the sea of fire on lake surface. By watching the performance one will appreciate a great artwork that contains history, nature scenery and cultural landscapes. You will also get some traditional Chinese culture about current life and afterlife.
The performance consists of 11 chapters.
Prologue: Young lady grows up in Yang family
Lady Yang wearing gossamer appears behind the beautiful lotus flower blooming on water face of Nine-dragon Lake. The pretty figure and the unmatched beauty dim all the other scenery.
Chapter 1: Being elected as concubine of Emperor Xuanzong
After receiving an imperial edict, the graceful young lady is led into imperial palace. “Glancing back and smiling, she revealed a hundred charms. All the powdered ladies of the six palaces at once seemed dull and colorless.” Emperor Xuanzong glazes at the beauty and bestowes a pare of priceless jade rings to her. And the Emperor held grand coronation ceremony for Lady Yang.
Chapter 2: Whisper honeyed words under starry sky
Under the twinkling stars and hook-shaped moon, Emperor Xuanzong and Lady Yang whisper honeyed words to each other. They chased each other in the peony garden and enjoy their happy time when the world fall asleep.
Chapter 3: Bathing in Huaqing Hot Spring in early spring
Being escorted by a group of waitress, Lady Yang enjoy hot spring bathing. The lady dances behind a transparent water screen. The prodigiously gifted hot spring add more attraction to Lady Yang.
Chapter 4: Enjoy romantic & colorful dancing
General An Lushan brings minor ethnic dance from afar when coming to Changan to pay respect to Emperor Xuanzong. And the Emperor invited Lady Yang to the welcoming dinner held for the general. During the meal, they appreciate the minor ethnic dances and Lady Yang can not help but joins in to dancing ladies.
Chapter 5: Lady Yang’s presumptuous drinking after a banquet
Lady Yang gets drunk in a banquet. Stepping out the banquet hall she starts another drinking alone. Tens of servants serve around her.
Chapter 6: Appreciating self-create music
In the imperial garden lying at foot of Lishan Hill, Emperor Xuanzong and Lady Yang are appreciating gentle music and dance. Later on Lady Yang leads the dancing girls to dance along lotus flowers. Emperor Xuanzong and Lady Yang enjoy their nice time.
Chapter 7: Lady Yang wins all affection of Emperor Xuanzong
Though the emperor has hundreds of concubines in palace, he pays most of his affection to Lady Yang. He spends most time to stay with lady Yang so the government affairs are unobserved.
Chapter 8: Romantic time is crashed by armed rebellion
When the Emperor Xuanzong and Lady Yang are still drunk in the romantic atmosphere, the General An Lushan revolts. His aim is to take the place of the Emperor. Soon the imperial palace becomes dangerous. The whole palace falls into rush.
Chapter 9: Lady Yang is executed on the fugitive way
Emperor Xuanzong runs away with Lady Yang. When they arrives Maweipo, soldiers force Emperor Xuanzong to kill Lady Yang because they believe it is Lady Yang who make the Emperor forget government affairs. The emperor has no other choice but to kill his beloved concubine.
Chapter 10: Emperor Xuanzong meets Lady Yang in dream
When the rebellion ends, Emperor Xuanzong returns to imperial palace in Chang’an. Lady Yang’s image often appears in his hallucination. In the dream, he meets her again. They watched each other in tears. Many fairy ladies dance around them to celebrate their reunion. They swears “In the heaven we shall be birds flying side by side and on the earth we shall be flowering sprigs on the same branch.”