Apart from trying (and mostly failing) to direct young Chinese children in thrown-together plays and an unexpected viewing of NT Live’s King Lear at the movie theatre, we’ve been pretty removed from taking in one of our favourite art forms for the past 8 months. With our crazy schedules and lack of local Dalian theatre knowledge, we couldn’t make anything work for a night out at the theatre.
Thanks to our new found f-unemployment, we were able to do just that. Lang Toi–My Village by Lune Production at the Hanoi Opera House mixed traditional Vietnamese music and themes with modern dance/physical theatre/clown/acrobatics. Think a more elegant Cirque-du-Soleil with huge bamboo sticks that the performers used to create amazing structures, settings, and vignettes to tell the story of traditional rural life in Vietnam. Not only was it beautiful, authentic, and visually stunning, but just down-right impressive. It doesn’t do it justice, but you can check out the video below:
Watching the show reincarnated our inspiration and excitement around great theatre after being removed from it for a while. We love art and performance especially because it’s a way for people to connect – both the audience with each other through a communal experience, but also with the performers who are sharing a part of their history and culture, even without speaking the same language. This was really driven home when, after the bows, the entire cast was dancing and drumming in the lobby and giving audience members (who were mostly not Vietnamese) a chance to engage and take pictures with them.
We could gush forever about how awesome it was, AND about how beautiful the Hanoi Opera House was, but we just can’t wait to explore even more of this beautiful city.
Have you seen any inspiring theatre from around the world? Where did you see your most memorable show? Let us know!