PIAF 2017 – A O Lang Pho

Review by Julie Duxbury

A O Lang Pho is the second show out of Vietnam, loosely translating to “Village and City,” this show highlights the transition that Vietnam is experiencing in its change from groups of villages to major cities.

Using traditional farming implements, this show celebrates Vietnam’s cultural heritage of rice farmers, duck herders and fishing folk before transitioning the audience into Vietnam’s cosmopolitan urban cities.

From tranquil gardens of geese and ducks to the hustle and bustle of street life in a city, A O Lang Pho explores the cultural differences through dance and acrobats and is a spectacular introduction to the changes such a culture meets head on in its progress toward modern living.

The ensemble display brilliant acrobatics and dancing along with humour and downright gritty truisms. In a symbolic high rise apartment building, life continues in a frenetic fashion that is caught by the actions of the troupe as they re-enact the modern urban life that is becoming more and more common throughout Vietnam and other Asian countries.

The audience fills the theatre with resounding applause at the end of the event and the players come out to entrance us twice more with further dance and acrobatic manoeuvres.

This display is able to convey the differences between the Vietnamese village way of life and the modern, urban city way of life in a light-hearted, yet nostalgic manner. Throughout the performance Vietnamese music and song are foremost with the familiar, monastic rhythms a grand accompaniment to the village scenes whilst ultra rock music blares out from the very same instruments as the familiar, tranquil notes.

The pageantry of A O Lang Pho is in perfect harmony to the story behind the programme and suits the style of Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam in a more subdued manner than Cirque du Soleil performances.

A O Lang Pho was part of Perth International Arts Festival from 16th – 25th February 2017