Three of us have just been to see the Yangshou Impressions Light Show (also known as Impression, Liu Sanjie) which can only be described as a triumph of choreography, team-work and human creativity.
Directed by film director and cinematographer Zhang Yimou (who also directed the opening ceremony at the Beijing Olympics), it uses the limestone peaks as a natural backdrop and the entire performance is set on water. More than 600 locals, including fishermen and their cormorants, take part in the show.
I had no idea what to expect when I got there. Indeed, we didn't even know if we had seats for the 70-minute performance or whether we had to stand up. Not being able to understand Chinese was a slight problem, and the convoluted queuing system where we were herded up and corralled like sheep, on three separate occasions (first to be assigned a ticket guide, the second to get into the main gate, the third to enter the arena) was a little frustrating.
But once we got into the venue proper and discovered our seats were in the third row, it didn't seem so bad after all.
Of course we had no idea what the story unfolding before our eyes was all about (because of the language barrier), but the performance was undoubtedly eye-catching and spine-tingling all at the same time. The colours and the sounds were just stunning. That everything was done on water was even more impressive.
At one point a line of happy smiling girls dressed in national costume stood in front of us and belted out a high-pitched song that would have shattered crystal if any had been present. Talk about awesome lungs!
Some of the stage direction reminded me of the strong colours in Raise the Red Lantern, one of Zhang Yimou's films, and there were elements, such as the women with dresses adorned in electric lights, that would not have been out of place at a U2 concert.
As for crowd behaviour, it was pretty much impeccable. The Chinese don't seem to be particularly enthusiastic or demonstrative -- hardly anyone clapped or cheered -- but they did seem to enjoy the children whenever they took centre stage.
And getting out of the venue was nowhere near as complicated as getting in: we simply followed one of the Chinese chaps we shared a mini-bus with, met our Chinese driver at the designated meeting point and we were back in our hotel room within 20 minutes of the gig finishing. Try doing that at Wembley Stadium.