À Ố LÀNG PHỐ
08/03/2018 - 11/03/2018
“Will leave you spellbound” – TIME OUT PARIS
Whisk the whole family away to a village in Vietnam at À Ố Làng Phố – a circus show of extraordinary feats and infectious fun by a dazzling cast of acrobats and live musicians.
Be transported from the calm, rural backwaters to the brash, bustling city in this ingenious and dare-devil performance that is “a delight from start to finish” (Perth Now).
While a story unfolds of serene village life disrupted by modernity, watch as bamboo poles and woven baskets are repurposed to create breathtaking stunts and a host of peculiar characters. Traditional Vietnamese song makes way for a contemporary hip-hop showdown in this display of “stunning athleticism and ravishing music” (The West Australian).
A sell-out in its Australian premiere. Get in quick to secure your seats for this sure-fire Festival favourite.
DESIGNERS Tuan Le, Nguyen Nhat Ly, Nguyen Lan Maurice, Nguyen Tan Loc
DIRECTOR Tuan Le
MUSICAL DIRECTOR Nguyen Nhat Ly
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Nguyen Lân Maurice
CHOREOGRAPHER Nguyen Tan Loc
TROOP LEADERS Nguyen Van Dung, Nguyen Anh Minh
ACROBATS Dang Tram Anh, Nguyen Khanh Linh, Nguyen Thi Lien, Nguyen Ton Doan, Khanh, Bui Quoc Huy, Dinh Van Tuan, Do Manh Hung, Le Tien Tho, Nguyen Nhat Quang, Nguyen Van Thanh, Pham Van Son, Tran Ban Tin, Tran Duc An, Truong Chinh Phu, Quach The Nam
MUSICIANS Do Trong Thai, Luong Thang Long, Nguyen Kim Hai, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, Nguyen Truong Tho
LIGHTING DESIGNER Cyril Le Brozec,
TECHNICAL MANAGERS John Carroll, Romuald Simmoneau
LIGHTING TECHNICIANS Paul Deschamps, Bernard Espinasse
STAGE TECHNICIAN Nguyen Duy Chan
SOUND TECHNICIAN Mai Hoai Nam
TOUR ADMINISTRATOR Nguyen Anh Phuong
PRODUCTION Lune Production
EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION FRANCE – EUROPE Théâtre Sénart, Scène nationale
COPRODUCTION Cirque-théâtre d’Elbeuf, Pôle nationale des Arts du cirque – Haute Normandie Théâtre Sénart – Scène nationale
WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF Central National de Création et de Diffusion Culturelles de Châteauvallon
WITH THE SUPPORT OF Institut Français
Theatre , Musical , Circus ,
1hr 10mins (no interval)
Entrancing interplay of village and city
Review by John Smythe 09th Mar 2018
Never will a simple woven basket seem ordinary after seeing what Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam does with them – and bamboo poles.
Director Tuan Le explains in a programme note that À Ố is a contraction of Làng Phố, which means village and city. It is the differences inherent in these two lifestyles that he and his three co-Designers, Lighting Designer, Musical Director, Choreographer, two Troop Leaders, 15 Acrobats, five Musicians and a comprehensive technical and production crew explore and play with in this magical 75-minute show. (See full credits here.)
The first image suggests a human balancing on a somewhat wobbly blue planet: a reference, perhaps, to the big picture we’re about to see in microcosm.
Life in a remote village is portrayed as joyful, interactive, rich and productive as the baskets, varying from huge to hand-held, are used as surfaces, containers, carapaces and swings; as the poles propel boats, create bridges, are tossed and flourished as traditional weapons … One becomes a tree a man shins up to pluck a piece of fruit he drops onto a woman’s knife. There’s a hint of gentle human romance, too – contrasting with what I take to be a lively monkey’s mating dance.
It takes a while to realise the melodic and percussive musical accompaniment is being played live, imbuing the dynamic, fluid and often surprising acrobatic action with mood, structure and meaning. Silence and stillness are employed as effectively as sound and action to keep us entranced.
Especially impressive, amid the abundance of energetic physicality, is a sequence involving a large swinging basket from which an acrobat leaps, dives or flips – only to be magically replaced by another.
The move to the city sees a fracturing of community, as people – alone or in couples – are isolated in high-rise cubicles. One person’s traditional food preparation involves a banging that angers the wine-sipping couple one floor below.
There is plenty of fun here, too, but it tends to be more noisy, harsh and competitive. Traditional music gives way to beat-boxing; traditional dance to hip-hop. Cars and motor bikes – cleverly suggested – replace the boats.
Whether the change is for the better or worse is left for each of us to decide. Meanwhile the fun everyone is having on stage is infectious – and it spills out into the auditorium, as two aging musicians play their traditional instruments, resigned to this thing called progress while maintaining their integrity.
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