Underwater dance aired on Dragon Boat Festival becomes an online sensation
Image: Haohao He completed the dance without any support from an underwater breathing device, by jumping into the water more than 200 times every day. Courtesy: Henan TV
An underwater dance performance has rapidly become an internet sensation after its original broadcast on the eve of the Chinese Dragon Boat Festival with many praising the show for recreating the Chinese legend The Ode to the Goddess of the Luo River.
Image: He, from Guangzhou, started artistic swimming at the age of eight. Courtesy: Henan TV
The two-minute underwater dance, named Pray, or Qi in Chinese was presented by Haohao He, an artistic champion swimmer in her 20s, who has been likened to the Goddess of the Luo River by Chinese netizens for her graceful execution of the story with highly demanding moves such as flipping and flying in the water.
The show was curated by Henan TV, a local broadcaster in China, as part of the Dragon Boat Festival Wonder Tour. The production team later revealed the filming process as many viewers were too amazed to believe it was completed in the water.
He, from Guangzhou, started artistic swimming at the age of eight. After 10-year in the sport, she then started learning underwater dance and diving five years ago.
She confirmed that the final film was born out of hard work rather than relying on magical post-production effects. By jumping into a 4.5m deep swimming pool over 200 times every day and taking a breath only once every 50 seconds, He completed the dance without any support from an underwater breathing device.
The performer suffered bloodshot eyes and ear pressure as a result of staying in the water for a long time. Courtesy: Henan TV
Due to buoyancy issues, which makes it hard to stand still in the water, He had to wear counterweights weighing between 2 to 10 kilograms depending on the segments of the plot.
Having stayed in the water for a long time with eyes wide open, He suffered bloodshot eyes, as well as ear pressure. To assist with jumping and flying, she was harnessed with fishing strings, which are thin enough to be invisible but left dark lines around her arms and waist.
According to Yongyi Yu, the producer, it took half a month for the team to produce this piece which totaled an impressive 26 hours of underwater filming.
The dance also wowed many foreign viewers after Hua Chunying, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry shared the video on her official Twitter account.
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