Wow A O!

A few weeks ago, Social Media Manager for the AO Show, Kimmy Nguyen invited me to watch their production. It has been running since early this year and I’ve actually been wanting to watch this “new circus” in town — plus the fact that I haven’t set foot in the 115-year old Saigon Opera House — so getting the invitation was such a blessing!

Okay so that was a real running sentence. 😛 Was so excited to watch the show last night and still on the AO high!  A – O stands for the “Aaahs” and the “Oooohs” of the audience as they’ll be sure to be surprised with the show! photo 20131017_173854_zps288809a6.jpg

We arrived at the Saigon Opera House at 5:30 PM for the 6 PM show. We had complimentary drinks and had to wait till 5:50 PM to get to our seats. The lobby filled up pretty quickly and we enjoyed watching a preview of the show in this pyramid-like screen that kinda looked like a hologram. Pretty cool!

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Native fish traps on boat baskets adorn the lobby setting the tone to what AO Show is all about. photo 20131017_175251_zps55c25b47.jpg

The stage was simply decorated as the props needed to be changed every act.
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There was a huge turnout! Kids were given additional cushion (the show is for 5 years old and up), so they can see the stage better. That beats having Sam jumping up and down on my lap!

Kudos to AO Show’s director, Vietnamese-German, Tuan Le for bringing this new circus concept to Vietnam. The whole production revolved on the use of the basket boat and the pliancy of the bamboo and how these two things are interwoven into the daily life of Vietnamese people in the countryside.

We weren’t allowed to take photos during the show so a big thanks to Kimmy for sending some of the highlights of the show. There were just so many moments I wanted to capture.

This was described as the dragonfly or butterfly. I call it the flutter. This act created an illusion of a dragonfly flying with the bamboo props as wings. These props are actually used for fishing called cái lờ. Truly magical to see in action.

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Another view of this act.

 photo Butterfly_zps84276437.jpg

This act showed so much strength and flexibility of the girl acrobat  as she supported the guy from below. photo Dream02_zpsf66cfe9f.jpg

A powerful performance making use of bamboos —

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The bamboos were used to recreate the moving river water as a guitar man on a boat make his way through — photo River_zpsaf1699da.jpg

As the show progressed, the musicians were revealed behind the black curtains. The music by French-born, Nhat Ly was the perfect background of the acts performed. The musicians made use of native Vietnamese instruments. photo Musicians_zps68117b7d.jpg

Here was a scene where the villagers  were in the basket production line — photo ProductionLine_zps9a3b3526.jpg

Another act showed bamboos turned into moving bridges. Quite a sight to see those crossing the bridges remain unfazed as the bridges moved from one location to the next. Think Hogwarts with the moving staircases in the dorms. photo MonkeyBridgeampLotusPond_zps0b69882e.jpg

Seriously, these baskets are really something! photo Galaxy_zps189df361.jpg

Part of the showed the acrobatic prowess of the artists. photo Energy_zps38df4baf.jpg

This was a fun act as the dancers made use of the baskets to show a caterpillar (I think) and a hermit crab (I also think). photo Insects_zpsfaaadbc6.jpg

Another scene on an animal, is the frog — photo TheFrog_zpsc95d124b.jpg

Would love to see some these acts on the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Here was the Lotus Pond scene.

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There was an act as well that showed the modern and comedic side of Vietnam. photo Bicycle_zpsc9532e8d.jpg

This alternative pyramid would give my University pep squad (UP Pep Squad) a run for their money.

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And this people tower was breathtaking — photo Peopletower_zpsb3cab645.jpg

One of my favorites in the show (sadly no photo!) is the guy who fitted himself on a tattered frame of the round woven bamboo basket boat. The tattered bamboo gave a beautiful dream-like effect as he made a dizzying choreography onstage.

At the end of the show, the dancers all lined up playing native Vietnamese instruments as they made their way to the lobby. There they stayed quite a bit for picture taking!

Dreamy. Riveting. Awe-inspiring. That’s AO Show for me.

35 more shows this year including Christmas! Book your tickets now! photo 20131017_192846_zpsb24323ca.jpg

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5 Responses to Wow A O!

  1. Thanks for the credit and nice review Lyra. I’m glad that your family and friends enjoyed the show. Just a minor adjustment that our show Director, Tuan Le, he is Vietnamese, but has lived in Germany since 14 years old :-). I’ll share this review to my team and they’ll love it. I hope to see you again soon.
    Kimmy

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