The premier of the cultural show named Xin Chao! performed to a packed house on Friday at the Circus Tent, 2 Pham Ngu Lao Street in HCMC’s District 1.
The show that attracted both local and foreign audiences received mixed reviews from media both before and after the event.
The program, created and directed by Laura Burke, is a combination of circus, dance, martial arts, telling stories from Vietnamese history.
For any of the audience that was expecting performances of the caliber of Cirque du Soleil, they walked away disappointed. The much anticipated show did not live up to the audiences’ expectations. The storyline, performed by 50 performers and some of the country’s top acrobats, martial artists and traditional/contemporary dancers, was too difficult to understand for the foreign audience, and even the Vietnamese in the stands couldn’t work out what was happening, despite the explanation in the brochure.
Laura Burke, who has 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and eight years in Vietnam, said the scene was meant to be brief as most tourists here already know a lot about Vietnamese culture. She also said she would add more information to the brochures to make it clearer.
The show represents a great effort by troupe and the American director who loves Vietnamese culture and history enough to want to introduce it to foreigners. Tourists get another venue to visit and learn more about their host country while they are there.
According to the reviews, the organizers had described the production as the same genre as Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian circus show that has enjoyed a global following with popular shows in Japan and Macau; Voyage de la Vie in Singapore and Siam Niramit Cultural Show in Bangkok, but it is not at that level at this stage.
Xin Chao! will be performed daily at September 23 Park at 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission includes a brochure with a brief description of the program in four languages - Vietnamese, French, Japanese and English.