The performance of A O Show, a Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, at the Sydney Opera House.

 



Bamboo isa common material in Vietnamese daily life, but one that has a special place inthe hearts of the people. In the Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, bamboo is used asmore than props for some fascinating circus acts; it serves as an inspirationalstepping stone for creative entertainment.

It isused to build the set, which quickly transforms from one scene to another. Thatmakes bamboo an essential character of the performance and it creates auniqueness that sets this country's circus apart from others.

Music isone of many key characters in the Vietnamese Bamboo Circus.

The livemusic for each performance is an innovative harmony of 10 to 20 traditional,fork, tribal, and modern musical instruments. The music was composed along witheach show, amplifying every movement and spontaneous emotion of the performers.

Audienceswill experience a plethora of cultural highlights such as the gongs ofhighlanders, the plucked lute from the northern folk music genre, ca tru (ceremonialsinging) and the bowed string from don ca tai tu or southernfolk music.

These areall listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages of humanity.

EachVietnamese Bamboo Circus performance is a representation of a different culturefrom a region in the country. Modern life is losing those charming scenes likepeople tending ducks in fields under the moonlight in the south, rituals topray to the gods to bless crops in Central Highlands villages and the nights ofromantic dating by girls and boys in northern villages.

TheVietnamese Bamboo Circus does not merely recreate those cultural activities butalso conveys the soul of folklore through lights, sound and stage settings.

Thatmakes the audience, whether Vietnamese or foreigners seeing for the first time,feel touched.

Bamboocircus brings Vietnamese art abroad

Vietnamesebamboo circuses have been performing not only in the country but also abroad tooffer foreign audiences a peek into the daily life of Vietnam.

They haveperformed over 500 shows in over 50 cities in 17 countries, attracting over200,000 people.

The showshave been performed at many famous venues like the Sydney Opera House, KanagawaArts Theatre, Yokouska Arts Theatre, Perth Festival, and Royal Opera House inMuscat.

Lang Toi (My Village) was thefirst bamboo circus performance from Vietnam to tour Europe. It has beenperformed 200 times in nine countries. It is now performed regularly at the HanoiOpera House and Vietnam Tuong Theatre (Nha Hat Tuong Vietnam).

The AO Show is a quintessential Vietnamese Bamboo Circus show performed atthe Saigon Opera House in HCM City. It has been globetrotting more than anyother Vietnamese show since 2015.

Teh Dar is the only showbased on the highland culture. Besides being performed at the Sai Gon OperaHouse and the Hoi An Lune Centre for Performing Arts, it has been on touraround Europe since 2018 and performed at 40 venues.

Lastmonth, the A O Show went to Australia to the Sydney OperaHouse after 200 performances in 50 cities in 11 countries around the globe.

“We, thecreators of the Vietnamese Bamboo Circus shows, can’t be prouder that A O Show meets all the criteria set by the theatre,” Tuan Le, the show’sdirector, said.

“Beingchosen to perform at the Sydney Opera House is a significant movement for theVietnamese Bamboo Circus and a breathtaking lifetime experience for all of us.

“Beyondentertainment, the Vietnamese Bamboo Circus is on a mission to touch the heartsof Vietnamese living far from their homeland and inspire internationalaudiences with the essence of Vietnam’s cultural richness and beauty.”

Thecreator of A O Show and other Vietnamese Bamboo Circus is LuneProduction, a Vietnamese company with expertise in cultural entertainment andthe ambition to inspire and preserve Vietnamese culture through artperformances.

“Theypartner with elite Vietnamese artists having experience working withprestigious international art organisations to present Vietnamese culture uniquely.-VNS