Performers wanted for Shanghai Disney park
Updated: 2016-06-02 08:18
Entertainers dressed in Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse costumes perform at the Shanghai Disney Resort May 16, 2016. [Photo/IC]
When Niu Tianlong graduated from the Shanghai University of Sport last year, the 22-year-old planned to pursue his passion for a full-contact, Chinese martial art known as wushu.
Then The Walt Disney Co came calling. Nowadays, he's lacing up his knee-high boots, donning pantaloons and a blue bandanna, and rehearsing a sword-fighting scene ahead of the June 16 opening of the $5.5-billion Shanghai Disney theme park.
"The physical part is not tough at all compared with wushu, but the performance, the expressions on my face and acting－that's very challenging," said Niu, who has been hired to play a swashbuckler and entertain park visitors between attractions.
In Disney's effort to expand its signature character-based entertainment to China, figuring out millions of small details such as the Mandarin translation for hakuna matata has been the least of its worries. Instead, managing an epic, year-long casting for the 1,000 performers for marquee musicals such as The Lion King and all manner of other acts that make the Magic Kingdom such a powerful draw, has proved more challenging.
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