On July 2nd at 9AM, the Chen Kaige directed first large scale actual location performance XI YI'S DALI held a foundation ceremony and press conference in Dali's ancient city. Communist China Dali region secretary Liu Ming opened the ceremony with a speech. Communist China Dali region committee, Dali Bai autonomous region people's government assistant government Huang Ronghua host the ceremony and introduced the details of the project. The Yunnan province, Dali region leaders and director Cheng Kaige all participated in the foundation ceremony for XI YI'S DALI.
After the ceremony, the Yunnan province, Dali region leaders and director Chen Kaige participated in the press conference and introduced in detail the creative journey, the creative team and other updates to 130 media outlets. The press conference included Dali's own folk music and dance performance but most surprisingly the event even invited five top film and television stars He Lin, Mao Junjie, Xue Jianing, Yan Danchen, and Zhang Yao to host the entire press conference in five golden flower costumes.
XI YI'S DALI is Chen Kaige's first actual location performance. Before the press conference, Director Chen already spent six months with the show's nucleus team. The story is based on the Dali Bai people's famous folklore. The words Xi Yi came from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, "Something invisible is called Yi; something inaudible is called Xi." The reference is to a dream like fantasy location. The event will be Yunnan province Dali region travel and vacation area management council invested and organized, Pacy Age Culture Communication (Beijing) produced, and planned ofr a April 28 2010 premiere in Dali.
Aside from Chen Kaige as the director, the entire nucleus creative team was rather strong. Famous Japanese music master Joe Hisaishi was considered to be the music director, famous Chinese dance artist and the film FOREVER ENTHRALLED's art director Liu Qing was the dance art director. World renowned Beijing modern dance troup art director Gaoyin Jinzi will be the choreography director. Top Japanese designers will be hired in the fields of stage, lighting and sound. The goal was to create a top notch Asian actual location performance.
The project officially began in January 2009. The production period was 16 months with a direct investment of 150 million yuan and a total investment of 300 million. The performance location was be west of Dali ancient city's West Gate Dam. A large theater of 4000 seats would be built on the dam.