Arts Centre Melbourne Presents À Ố Làng Phố - Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

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Arts Centre Melbourne Presents À Ố Làng Phố - Vietnamese Bamboo Circus

World-renowned circus show À Ố Làng Phố ventures to Melbourne as part of Asia TOPA from 27 - 29 February at Arts Centre Melbourne's State Theatre.

Directed by former Cirque du Soleil choreographer Tuấn Lê, À Ố Làng Phố has left audiences the world over enthralled. Its Melbourne debut follows successful seasons in Sydney and Perth, and an international premiere at Les Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon.

Created by the Việt Kiều (Vietnamese people living outside Vietnam in a diaspora) founders of Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam -Nguyễn Nhất Lý (Musical Director, French-Vietnamese), Nguyễn Lân Maurice (Artistic Director, French-Vietnamese), Tuấn Lê (Director, German-Vietnamese) and Nguyễn Tân Lộc (Choreographer, Vietnamese) - À Ố Làng Phố is an utterly original show that joyously celebrates the beauty of Vietnamese culture.

À Ố Làng Phố translates as 'from village to city', and over the course of this magical performance an expanding metropolis is constructed from bamboo poles, woven boats and baskets. Few works can claim to have pioneered a new art form, but by combining bamboo and circus, this troupe conjures extraordinary possibilities.

Bamboo is the ancient material used to visually represent Vietnam's beauty, flexibility and resilience. In devising this work, the creative team chose bamboo "firstly because of its aesthetic beauty, but also it's very soft, but strong and stable; even stronger than metal. From chopsticks to bridges, everything in Vietnam used to be made from bamboo."

In À Ố Làng Phố, two elements are intertwined to tell stories that evoke emotion from the audience in a harmonious play of juxtapositions: the toughness of the bamboo pole versus the flexibility of the body and the stillness of a rural village versus the excitement of the circus.

Circus artists perform on a beautifully designed and lit set constructed entirely of bamboo poles and rattan-woven baskets traditionally used by fisherman and farmers. As they are constructed and deconstructed, they tell a story of urbanisation as a quaint seaside village is transformed into a bustling city with skyscraper buildings. From the idyllic beauty and rich culture of life in rural Vietnam, this transforming landscape is the playground for some of Vietnam's most astonishing acrobats.

The stunning bamboo props frame the daring acrobatics, contortion, juggling, stunting, contemporary dance and visual theatre. Just as bamboo bends without breaking, so too do the acrobats who stretch the imagination with dizzying feats of strength and agility.

À Ố Làng Phố is set to a live score featuring traditional Vietnamese music and contemporary sounds. The instruments used are unique to Vietnam and include the two-chord fiddle of Southern Folk that is recognised by UNESCO as a cultural treasure.

"Music is the soul of our show. It expertly captures the mood and energy of the dramatic action," Lê says.

Audiences of all ages will be spellbound by the extraordinary theatrical imagination of À Ố Làng Phố and left buzzing with the energy of Vietnam in this vibrant portrait of a world in motion.

À Ố Làng Phố is produced by Lune Production and co-produced with Théâtre Sénart - Scène Nationale and Cirque-Théâtre Elbeuf.



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