MGM China Holdings Limited (MGM) launched a visionary art project titled “MGM Lion IP (Intellectual Property),” — a collection of artistic tourism offerings across multiple genres. The project is expected to catapult Macau to become a premier “cultural city destination,” Pansy Ho, co-chairperson and executive director of MGM unveiled via a videoed speech yesterday.
The opening and landmark performance of “MGM Lion IP” will be the “MGM Awakening Lion,” a play adapted from the award-winning Chinese dance drama “Awakening Lion,” presented by the Guangzhou Song and Dance Theatre (GSDT).
The dance drama, featuring a plethora of Chinese traditional cultures, including lion dance, Southern Fist (Nanquan), dance performance, folk cultures, is slated to debut in MGM Theater at MGM Cotai in July of this year. This will be the first residency performance outside mainland China for the troupe.
At yesterday’s launch ceremony, Ho stated that the dance drama, with its heavy focus on traditional lion dance, is intrinsically symbolic of MGM, whose logo includes a lion.
The main intention behind bringing the show to Macau is to “pass on the Lingnan heritage,” and “deepen the exchanges of cultural tourism in the Greater Bay Area (GBA),” Ho added.
In an exclusive interview with the Times, Shi Qianjin, artistic and chief director of “MGM Awakening Lion” and president of the GSDT echoed Ho’s remarks, saying that “art is the potent and a more resonant platform to communicate Chinese traditional cultural values to today’s young audiences.”
Shi had incorporated some modern and cinematic elements into the show, with modifications made to plot, music, costume, and to other performing components so as to make the drama more “compact, thrilling” to appeal to a younger demographic.
He voiced that he regards Macau, positioned as a leisure destination with a harmonious blend of Chinese and Western cultures, as a great gateway for the show and its embedded Chinese cultural elements to attract more global attention and following.
Catarina Lio, vice president of Brand Marketing of MGM said that the group’s resolution in pulling together a large-scale dance drama at this time also manifests its confidence in Macau’s tourism prospects.
Lio reaffirmed her faith in Macau’s tourism rebound and is eyeing a more bullish arrival figure and occupany rate in the coming summer holiday.
When asked about whether the “MGM Lion IP” proposition would be conducive in helping MGM secure the renewal of a gaming concession, Lio said, “MGM has long been committed to advancing Macau’s cultural development and economic diversification. It is MGM’s responsibility to keep toiling to provide enriched art offerings, regardless of the links between the efforts and the matter of gaming license renewal.”
She told the Times that “MGM Lion IP” will be an “ongoing development.” From now to next year, MGM will set other art projects into motion. One of them will be a collaboration with a known designer brand in China to co-host a quasi-fashion show event.
“We will also deepen partnerships with local artists, such as illustrators, and local souvenir brands to conceive more diversified art offerings,” she said.
The dance drama — truncated to 70 minutes from its original version of two hours, will be put on stage for four rounds, starting from July and running until February next year.