This inspired circus from Vietnam draws upon twin impulses in the contemporary art form to create something stunning, immersive and new.
The director of the Vietnamese Bamboo Circus, Tuan Le, has worked for Cirque du Soleil, and that experience ties into the immaculate scenography and epic scale of A O Lang Pho.
Yet the show is ambitious in another sense – one championed by the Brisbane-based Circa. It has a soulfulness, a willingness to push at circus’ boundaries with theatre and contemporary dance, and the ability to choreograph its acrobatics into an intricate dance of human situation and emotion.
The piece animates with sublime vitality one strand of the Vietnamese story: the rapid change from rural to urban life.
Crisp scenes under a crescent moon build snapshots of bucolic tranquillity. Bamboo baskets stir, children play idly, folk carry rice to market over bamboo bridges, and frogs frolic in the murk of moonlit paddies…
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