Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Taking Gaudiness to New Heights

She wants him to touch here not pose there

On the weekend I went to Macau and this time checked out Galaxy Macau, the latest resort complex that opened May 16. It's a glistening white and gold series of buildings that definitely stand out for its fairy tale-like look.
Before getting on the shuttle bus I was handed a brochure of the place along with a packet of tissues with a picture of the building on it and ferry schedule which definitely came in handy.
Inside Galaxy Macau, the public areas are quite gaudy to say the least. The foyer at the main entrance features this giant round crystal or frosted ice that at times rises up and down and is lit from behind in various rainbow colours. One wonders the whole point of this presentation and the meaning behind it.
Milling around the entrance are very tall models, most of whom are not Chinese, wearing golden qipao and extra long eyelashes. They're very helpful to English-speaking visitors but other than that they stand around acting pretty.

Another foyer area had giant "crystals" coloured in a wild array of colours and if you crossed a bridge that went around them three times, you could get good luck, supposedly in the casino. We both lost money on the five-cent slotmachines and it's probably because we didn't cross that bridge.

Interacting with a visiting with an iPad
The brochure promoted four entertaining acts to look out for -- Thai puppets -- that are promoted as "coming to Macau for the very first time". Another was for the "Galaxy Tiffany Show", which showed two tall buxom girls in gold dresses complete with tiaras and the description said: "Glamour rules at the Galaxy Tiffany Show as famous impersonation [sic] tease your imagination in a stunningly different series of exotic performances at the Pearl Lounge." Hmm the two girls in the brochure don't look like anyone I recognize...

And then there was "Galaxy Living Dolls", where live mannequins -- another first in Macau -- have charming "doll-like" poses which are great for photo opportunities. Uh huh.
We were very intrigued by "G6", a robotic dance group that promises to "mesmerize you as they perform their unique, mechanical gyrations at the Retail Promenades. Join them if you dare."
So after dinner we tried to find them and even asked staff where the "retail promenades" were and they didn't know what we were talking about. There was no signage for "retail promenades" either.

But the next day with a bit of time to kill before going back to the Cotai ferry terminal we saw some people standing like robots -- we found G6!

They were holding iPads that said "touch me".
Touch the iPad or them?
There were two men and two women, the men, Caucasians, wore strange ill-fitting silver wigs, black trench coat, leggings, tall boots and gloves. The women looked better with purple wigs and they got more attention, perhaps because they were more attractive, or less scarier than the men.
The men looked strange in ill-fitting wigs...
People would pose for pictures with them, but really these "robots" wanted them to touch the iPad to get to know Galaxy Macau better.

None of them did any "mechanical gyrations" which was disappointing.
Why this need to dumb down entertainment? The complex itself looks quite nice with a lot of use of marble and tasteful decorations. So why have gaudy attractions? Why not make things look more sophisticated so that the target audience will understand what good taste is?
The last thing we need is more tackiness in Macau...

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