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VIETNAMESE BAMBOO CIRCUS

The Extraordinary in Simplicity

Bamboo and circus are the two familiar concepts in life, but sometimes familiarity and simplicity are far from ordinary.

Vietnamese Bamboo Circus combines story-telling circus, unique live music, and creative use of bamboo to form an awe inspiring performance art. This art genre displays the deeply rooted beauty of Vietnamese culture, that transcends language allowing thousands of audience members all over the world to enjoy.

The Extraordinary in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus:

- All main props and sets are made of bamboo;

- Story-telling circus;

- Live unique music using Vietnamese special music genres, many of them are UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

- Conveying the beauty of various Vietnamese cultures from across the country;

- No animals involvement.

Performances of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus:

- Lang Toi (My Village): The first bamboo circus of Vietnam that toured Europe for three years from 2009 - 2012. Now performed regularly in Hanoi Opera House and Vietnam Toung Theater.

- À Ố Show: The signature cultural show in Ho Chi Minh City, performs in Saigon Opera House. Most frequently toured show around the world since 2015.

- Teh Dar: The only bamboo circus about Vietnamese highland culture. Performs in Saigon Opera House, and Hoi An Lune Center for the Performing Arts. The show is continuously on tour around Europe since 2018.

Cultural Impacts of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus:

- The performance art of Vietnam that has toured the most in many countries. Over 500 shows in 17 countries, in front of over 200.000 audiences.

- The first Vietnamese show to perform in Sydney Opera House. “À Ố Show” represents the genre and the country by delivering 6 performances there in June 2019.

- Làng Tôi (My Village), the only performance at APEC 2017 in Da Nang, Vietnam.

1. The Bamboo in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

Bamboo is the material that is near and dear to Vietnamese daily life, and moreover, holds a special place in the hearts of its people. The material exists in most aspects of Vietnamese life from farming, fishing, cooking tools, furniture to metaphoric images in music, literature and art.

 

In Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, bamboo once again is used by Vietnamese for more than props of the fascinating circus acts, but a stepping stone of inspiration for creative entertainment. The material is used to build the stage set and quickly transforms from one scene to another. That makes bamboo an essential character of the performance, and uniqueness that sets this country's circus apart from others.Story-telling Circus in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

2. Story-telling Circus in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

Vietnamese Bamboo Circus has not only the stunts and thrills in skilled jugglings, contortion, and daring acrobatics, but also the overall aesthetic impact of storytelling, character's emotions, original live music, and beautiful lighting.

The performance art is far beyond traditional circus. It creates an emotional journey for the audience to feel the beautiful, authentic spirits of Vietnamese culture. The one-of-a-kind experience rarely found elsewhere.

3. Live Music in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

Music is one of many key characters in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus. Each performances’ live music is an innovative harmony of 10 to 20 musical instruments from traditional, fork, tribal and modern music. The music was composed alongside with the creation of each show, purposely amplifies every movement and spontaneous emotion of the performers.

Audience will experience a wave of cultural signature melody such as Goongs from Vietnamese Highlanders, plucked lute from Northern folk music Ca Trù, and bowed string from Đờn Ca Tài Tử Southern folk music. These are all listed as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

4. Cultural Characteristics in Vietnamese Bamboo Circus 

Each Vietnamese Bamboo Circus performance is a representation of a different culture of a region in the country. Modern life is losing poetic scenes of people raising ducks in the fields under the moonlight in the South, rituals to pray for gods to bless crops in the Central Highlands villages, the nights of the girls and boys romantic dating in Northern villages.

Vietnamese Bamboo Circus does not merely recreate those cultural activities, but also conveys the soul of folklore through lights, sound and stage settings. That makes the audience, whether local or international visitors for the first time, feel touched.

Some journalists and art experts describe Vietnamese Bamboo Circus as the perfect juxtaposition of bamboo’s solidity and elegant movements; the tranquility of a village setting and energetic acrobatic. They further describe the soundlessness of the music exudes the vocal of the sound of life: the sounds of chickens’ cluck, lullabies, and farming chants. Bringing emotions to the audience with no need for language is a true art form. Vietnamese Bamboo Circus can be said to be the most artistic combination between bamboo and human. 

Performances of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus:

- Lang Toi (My Village): The first bamboo circus of Vietnam that toured Europe for three years from 2009 - 2012. Now performed regularly in Hanoi Opera House and Vietnam Toung Theater.

- À Ố Show: The signature cultural show in Ho Chi Minh City, performs in Saigon Opera House. Most frequently toured show around the world since 2015.

- Teh Dar: The only bamboo circus about Vietnamese highland culture. Performs in Saigon Opera House, and Hoi An Lune Center for the Performing Arts. The show is continuously on tour around Europe since 2018.

References:

Director Đặng Nhật Minh, Meritorious Artist of Vietnam, sharing thoughts about Vietnamese Bamboo Circus “My Village”

https://dantri.com.vn/van-hoa/nsnd-dang-nhat-minh-noi-ve-vo-dien-xiec-lang-toi-20181020092230099.htm

 

Sydney Opera House introduction of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus “À Ố Show”

https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/events/whats-on/circus-and-magic/2019/a-o-lang-pho.html

https://www.sydneyoperahouse.com/backstage/theatre/vietnam-villages-bloom-into-a-city-a-o-lang-pho-circus.html

 

Perth Festival introduction of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus “My Village”

https://www.perthfestival.com.au/event/lang-toi-village

 

Senart Theatre introduction of Vietnamese Bamboo Circus “Teh Dar”

https://theatre-senart.com/programmation/arts-de-la-piste/teh-dar/

Shows by city

A O ShowA O Show

A O Show

A vivid portrait of Vietnam in urbanization time, painted with unique stage visuals and a touch of humor.

The name ‘A O’ derives from ‘Lang Pho’, which means ‘village and city’. The show depicts the charming beauty and cultural richness of Vietnamese life in the countryside, in contrast with the nation’s racing urbanization. The show is a unique mix of bamboo circus, acrobatic acts, dance, and theatrical visual art. The live music echoes Vietnamese Southern work songs. All in all, this beautiful blend of genres creates a unique stage language, which well captures the essence of Vietnam’s fascinating culture.

Lang Toi - My Village

The poetic beauty of Vietnamese village life, recreated using iconic bamboo, breathtaking cirque and exotic live music.

Lang Toi (My Village) is a delicate merge of tradition and innovation, where poetic beauty of Northern Vietnam’s village life is presented under Vietnamese Bamboo Circus approach. Farming, building activities, traditional games, lifestyle of Northern villagers are recreated by ancestral bamboo props, breath-taking circus and acrobatics, rhythmic dance, to distinct folk music from more than 20 musical instruments.

Lang Toi - My VillageLang Toi - My Village
PalaoPalao

Palao

A soulful dance carrying Cham spirit and culture, rendered in contemporary stage language. Some 20 artists sing, dance, and play traditional Cham instruments. Various-sized terracotta pots of several meanings, and signature white-colored costumes make a bold statement of Cham culture. Humanity and togetherness are core values embraced in Palao.

A soulful dance carrying Cham spirit and culture, rendered in contemporary stage language. Some 20 artists sing, dance, and play traditional Cham instruments. Various-sized terracotta pots of several meanings, and signature white-colored costumes make a bold statement of Cham culture. Humanity and togetherness are core values embraced in Palao.

Teh Dar

Embodiment of vigorous Vietnamese tribes culture thru cirque, dance, music from tribal instruments.

Teh Dar invites audience on a venture into the enchanting world of Vietnamese highlanders. Wild animal hunts, moonlit romance, jungle's tales of death and reincarnation, are all recreated with stunning Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, daring acrobatics, and hypnotizing melody from exotic tribal instruments certified cultural heritage by UNESCO. Meaning ‘going in circle’ in the highland tribe K'ho's tongue, Teh Dar embrace and preserve beautiful and diverse Vietnamese tribal cultures. As the artists keep inspiring, the circle of tribal life keeps going, the cultures shall remain.

Teh DarTeh Dar
The MistThe Mist

The Mist

The essence of Southern farmers’ life expressed in sensual contemporary dance language.

The Mist tells a story Southern Vietnamese farming life, expressed through neo-classic and contemporary dance by skilled artists. Using rice cultivation as a metaphor to appreciate farmers’ dedication, from their misty dawn on the fields, their hardship and will power to rise up from humble muddy soil, to brace storms, to the moment they arrive joyously like shining pearls at harvest. The Mist is an hour of emotions, with myriad ups and downs, painted by sensational live music, splendid visuals, and colorful lighting effects.

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