I tried to let myself cool off a bit after watching Franco Dragone’s The House Of Dancing Water (THODW) before writing this comparison with Cirque du Soleil’s ZAIA. I wanted to think it all out before making any errors that I would punch myself for in the future.
I watched the ZAIA last year, and just watched THODW last week. Before I go into any of my opinion-divulging, basic information to share:
ZAIA [ Official Website ]
Cirque du Soleil
Location: The Venetian Macau, Cotai Strip
Shuttle bus available from Macau Ferry Terminal, China Border Gate. Unsure if shuttle service is available from the Airport.
Schedule: Changes every week. Mainly 5pm and 8pm. Sometimes 3pm. Check complete official schedule.
Ticket categories: 4 categories: VIP, Reserve A, Reserve B, Reserve C, Adult & Child price available. Pricing table.
Seating notes: n/a
The House of Dancing Water [ Official Website ]
Location: City of Dreams, Cotai Strip
Shuttle bus available from Macau Ferry Terminal, China Border Gate, Macau Tower, Sintra Hotel. Unsure if shuttle service is available from the Airport.
Schedule: 5pm and 8pm, NO SHOWS on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Check ticketing website.
Ticket categories: 4 categories: VIP, Reserve A, Reserve B, Reserve C, Adult and Child price available. Click on "Tickets Only" in main page for pricing table.
Seating notes: Front row seats (say first 3 rows) may catch rain/water splashes. Also, the theatre is round, seatings in the 2 ends of the "U" shape may miss out on background props.
Well, I shall say that again, I watched ZAIA last year, so I’m not so sure about the plot line, but it was something about a girl dreaming about the skies and the outer space. THODW, on the other hand… despite it being fresh in my mind, I have no idea what it was about… just some Lady Gaga look-alike queen locking a girl away.
Not wanting to delve too much into actual plot-lines, my opinion, is that, ZAIA is the winner here. It was easy to understand, the costumes are very nice, the acrobatics, skills, choreography, and music are wonderful. Perhaps it’s also because I liked all the dreaming aspect of ZAIA too, so I like ZAIA a lot more than THODW.
THODW, is pretty much the same like ZAIA. Yes, THODW is a lot more impressive in the technological sense, but I don’t think that alone is enough to make it "the best show". What’s so special with their technology? The ground, or stage, of THODW can change from solid ground to deep pool of water in less than a minute. So we see acrobatics and extreme diving in the same show. But that’s it. The music is nice, but you can’t buy the soundtrack – it’s not available for sale. I was a bit confused by the story line. The costumes are nice, but not stellar. Choreography, hm….
THODW does have a motorbike show which ZAIA doesn’t have. I was pretty impressed by that. It’s my first time watching a live motorbike show (those jumping over things show?). However, that doesn’t really make THODW so much more different from ZAIA.
If I may make such a statement, to me, THODW is just ZAIA, but with some water.
When it comes to shows, I’m not too picky of the pricing, but I guess for a family show it does make a difference. The Adult ticket prices are a nice tie between the two shows, but for children prices, ZAIA wins again. Besides, there is a lot of strong lighting and booming noise effects for THODW, so younger children might get frightened off by that.
One more rant for THODW… I hate that backdrop/background goddess that appears and does nothing. It irks me so. Can’t they cut her out of the show? Doesn’t serve a purpose at all.
So… I guess that’s it for this? Finally, I have one topic off my draft list now
I hope anyone visiting Macau and considering either one of the shows may find this helpful. Of course, if you go to both shows, you may gain your own impression