CONTEMPORARY VIETNAMESE CIRCUS BETWEEN CITY AND COUNTRY (A O LANG PHÔ)
The production's sublime blend of romantic sensibilities, lyricism, agility and humour has enchanted audiences in Saigon and beyond. Tuan Le mastered the art of juggling at the early age of seven, attended a circus academy in the former Soviet Union, and immigrated with his family to Germany, where he pursued further studies in nouveau cirque. Le is the first Asian recipient of the Award of Excellence presented by the International Jugglers' Association (IJA) and the first Vietnamese to have joined the famed Cirque du Soleil.
After returning to his homeland, a country still suffering from the stigma attached to the horrors of war, the artist was astounded by the dying out of the old and the emergence of new; scooterists wearing masks having replaced the one-time cyclists in traditional attire.
The show that appeals to audiences of all tastes and ages evokes the salty scents of the sea. The playful props of the performing acrobats, martial arts masters, jugglers and dancers are gigantic wicker baskets traditionally used by the Vietnamese on fishing boats. Le also aims to shape the identity of Vietnamese circus by predominately using bamboo, a very exotic element, on stage. A plant deeply rooted in their rural life, the Vietnamese eat bamboo, fight with bamboo sticks, and sleep and make love in bamboo beds.