Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dazzles and Dumplings

The Tang Dynasty was a very prosperous time for China.  Many times, the Emperors would hold over the top banquets that included dances that celebrated a good life or a prosperous harvest.  1100 years later, a couple of men decided to share the Tang dances and make a few bucks by creating a Tang Dynasty Dumpling Dinner. What a way for visitors to experience the good life of the Tang times!

Our tour of Xi’An ended with an over the top, dumpling filled Tang Dynasty dinner theater.   The evening included two things that I hold so closely to my heart: sparkly costumes and meat stuffed dough balls. 

When we reached the venue, we were by a hostess in traditional Tang attire to a gilded restaurant/ theater. 

Our hostess leads us into the theater.

 About 20 minutes after we were seated, we dined on dumplings of many shapes, fillings, and colors. 

These were the first round of dumplings.  My favorite was the duck shaped dumpling that was filled with duck. 
Dumplings round 2... I was getting a little full after this round.  The dumpling with the little orange eyes was filled with crab.  Yummy!

Round Three: classic pork and scallion filled dumplings. Yummy!

As we were eating, visitors from all over the globe joined us for dumplings.  The women seated to the left of me was Chinese and spoke only Mandarin.  The woman seated to the left of me was from Costa Rica and only spoke Spanish.  Needless to say, I had an amusing time trying to translate my 5 year old like Spanish to 3 year old like Chinese.

My new Chinese friend kept insisting on a picture with everyone.  I was able to translate a little, but I kept  confusing my Chinese and Spanish.  The gentleman to her left was from Belgium.

After multiple rounds of dumplings washed down by Tsingtao, it was time for the show. Fortunately, it was very easy to understand because the emcee introduced the numbers in English.  Each act was breathtaking.

Dancers perform a Spring Dance for the crowd.  I loved the traditional costumes.

Tang soldiers show off their strength and balance.

The empress flaunts her costume.

The Tang Emperor shows his approval.

This acrobatic troupe performed tricks while playing with these yo-yo like toys.

My Spanish speaking dinner companion kept repeating, "Aye!!!  Que lindo!"  How beautiful indeed!

Dancers pose at the end of their number.

Chinese men perform a drum dance.

Dancers pay homage to Buddha at the end of the Golden Buddha dance.

My friends and I do this all the time.

The dancers made it look so easy!

The dancers perform one final number.

All in all, the Tang Dynasty Dumpling Theater was a lot of fun, and a must for folks who are looking for a cheesy, glitzy good time!