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!
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!
Native fish traps on boat baskets adorn the lobby setting the tone to what AO Show is all about.
The stage was simply decorated as the props needed to be changed every act.
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.
Another view of this act.
This act showed so much strength and flexibility of the girl acrobat as she supported the guy from below.
A powerful performance making use of bamboos —
The bamboos were used to recreate the moving river water as a guitar man on a boat make his way through —
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.
Here was a scene where the villagers were in the basket production line —
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.
Seriously, these baskets are really something!
Part of the showed the acrobatic prowess of the artists.
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).
Another scene on an animal, is the frog —
Would love to see some these acts on the UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Here was the Lotus Pond scene.
There was an act as well that showed the modern and comedic side of Vietnam.
This alternative pyramid would give my University pep squad (UP Pep Squad) a run for their money.
And this people tower was breathtaking —
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!
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.
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