The Dance of Passion

Reviewed by: juphelia

April 06, 2009

Rating: two

This is another show which I don't quite understand. Initially I was interested as it was thought to be a sequel to "War and Beauty", which is a very good show. However, "Dance of Passion" let me down greatly.

The setting is in some desert town. I'm not even sure when the era was - perhaps pre-World War II? Two families were feuding - the Soong and the Yim. The chief of the Yim family was a deaf guy (Bowie Lam), who was manipulated by his foster father. The chief of the Soong family was the widow of the late chief (Ada Choi).

Perhaps being set in that era, or perhaps it was a typical small village in China, the virginities of the women were very important. Even if the women were captured and raped, it was still punishable and the men would have every right to divorce or kill the wife. It was another chauvinistic kind of show where men ruled all!

Anyway, Moses Chan was chased out of the village for carrying on with someone's wife. The lady was killed by the villagers and her entire family cursed. He was supposed to marry Charmaine Sheh but broke the engagement. She was labelled as a jinx by her parents since it was her second broken engagement.

In came Gigi Lai - an educated lady with feministic notions. Where Gigi refused marriage (forced into it by her parents) and wanted to outdo the men, Charmine was the traditional one who wanted to get married, and feared after the second broken engagement, no man would want to marry her. So when she was told to be a concubine to the Soong clan, she agreed.

The story then went on to how those two girls formed a friendship and Gigi was always trying to help Charmaine to become stronger and more independent. Yet the biggest twist was that, Gigi, after having been raped by her husband (she was to marry Bowie) and swore revenge, somehow ended up falling for him. At the same time, Ada Choi, heartbroken after losing her son, also warmed up to the care and concern of Bowie, whom she did not know was the one who caused her son's death.

So Bowie then had two women in love with him. He broke all rules by falling for Ada Choi, only to have her die for him in the end (which he did not know since he was blinded). It was Gigi who took care of him after that but he never realised that and thought it was Ada all along. Until in the end he finally revealed it was Gigi whom he really cared about, and she finally gave him hints as to her real identity.

Back to Moses Chan. He went back to the village and met Charmaine Sheh, without knowing she was his ex-fiance, as by then, she had become the concubine of his cousin. He wanted to seek revenge on Bowie's clan. Ada got Moses to impregnate Charmaine as for some reason, her husband (Kenny Wong) was impotent, hence his first wife (Maggie Siu) was humiliated for being barren.

Charmaine got pregnant, thinking it was by her husband. But she miscarried, supposedly caused by Ada and her servant. Later on, she realised the one whom she slept with was Moses, not her husband. Even though she was confused, she found herself falling for Moses. When they fell into a well and almost died, they finally confessed their love for each other, until they were rescued.

Moses went away (can't remember for what reason). He went back and found Bowie, and the two men made peace. He then saw a little girl who could be Charmaine's daughter, so he suspected she was his daughter too.

The ending was really ambiguous. It was modern times. A very old woman came back to the desert area / village, which has since become a tourist attraction. She climbed up a mountain and scattered the bag of sand she was carrying, and smiled to herself.

I don't quite understand the ending. But then, I don't quite understand the rest of the show too. Thus I can't really comment on the plot and how well the actors did. But the artistes being used are of certain calibre, so despite the incomprehensible storyline, I believe the artistes managed to portray their roles pretty well!

What I really do not like is that the entire show seemed too yellow. Yes, it was filmed in the desert, and the title itself suggests that its full of "yellow sand", but due to all the "yellowness", it kind of affects my eyes. I could see flickering images of the brightness of the show even after I stopped watching it!

I'm not sure how the rest of you will react to this show, but do watch it for the cast. As I said, I can't understand the storyline so I can't comment on it, but the cast is good and the artists played out their roles relatively well. Although if you are watching the show, do try to make your screen darker so the yellowness of the serial will not affect your eyes!

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