Written by support. Posted in FEATURES


Published on March 22, 2015 with No Comments

A novel way of journeying through romantic southern Vietnam.


The A O Show is best described as a groundbreaking contemporary show that showcases the growing performing arts scene in Vietnam. Commonly acknowledged globally as a “new circus”, the show surpasses all the limits previously constructed by many other art shows in Vietnam over the years.

A mixture of acrobatic acts, contemporary dance and theatre, the A O Show is a visual drama with a wonderful medley of traditional and modern values. The “A” and “O” of the title basically translates phonetically as the Ahhh! and Ohhh!, and certainly, the audience is offered the opportunity to let loose their imagination and gasp in delight and pleasure, entertained by the visual creation and lighting of each performance.

Delivered with amazing choreography and perfect background sound, the show features 17 Vietnamese musical instruments in an interactive play of bamboo cirque, acrobatics and contemporary dance. It depicts the charming beauty that Vietnam is known for, the richness of its culture through its eventual and inevitable urbanisation. Twenty-two performers mix athletics, acrobatics, theatrical visual drama with live music that echoes the Southern work songs and scenes.

The word “amaze” does not even begin to describe the moment the audience see themselves walking on a small walkway of the breezy south, or when they find themselves wondering pass the surging dunes of the Southern Central plains before finding themselves in front of a lotus swamp. Every now and then there are the haunting echoes of the spirited southern Vietnam and “Don Ca Tai Tu”, the music and song that resonate with the lifestyles of the people of the South. All the details that are portrayed and recorded in the show were selectively chosen to reflect the spirit of working in the southern delta and the lifestyles of the Vietnamese people and their unique heritage.

A O Show has no script, no climax and no sequence. Yet in that 60 minutes of the performance, the audience will feel as though they have travelled a lifetime. Show Director Tuan Le successfully captures an authentic, realistic Vietnamese flavour in this play. In every scene, the audience is given the opportunity to experience comfort and serenity mixed with astonishment and joy.

His is a smooth, dynamic production which cleverly uses traditional instruments and everyday raw materials to the fullest, gently transporting the audience to a time gone past. With each scene of yesteryear, emotions are tugged as the audience readily identifies with the vivid yet poetical rendering of a historical journey. For the visitor, the A O Show represents the best way to experience a slice of Southern Vietnam and understanding its history, heritage and culture. It allows the outsider to view the country through the lens of the locals. And what a beautiful and romantic view it is.

The cast themselves give a wonderfully raw, intimate show, drawing upon the Vietnamese dream of life, survival, love and everything else in between to entertain. There are unexpected laughs at times, but the cast’s physical agility and impeccable discipline expressed in leaps and spins is what keeps the audiences enthralled every night. Choreographer Nguyen Tan Loc, arguably one of the most sought after choreographers in Vietnam, cleverly weaves together folk music, dance, and contemporary art into a well crafted ensemble that will continue to be remembered long after the curtain falls.

The A O Show is presently performed daily at the 115-year-old historic Saigon Opera House in Ho Chi Minh City.

30% discount for tickets to the performance when passengers show their RB boarding passes not exceeding 7 days.
Royal Brunei Airlines flies Ho Chi Minh City 4x weekly.

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