KVT – Day 7 – Of Fire and Dragons and Hanoi Rhythms

KVT – Day 7 – Of Fire and Dragons and Hanoi Rhythms

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KVT 1000

KVT’s Diary as he enjoys exploring Hanoi in the final days counting down to Hanoi’s birthday.

KVT says: There is so much great stuff on and so much to see in the lead up to the great day that this opinionated blogger can’t get to the lot…so if you catch an event or a memorable sight send it to [email protected] and we’ll post our favorites so that no one’s left in the dark.

Els Comediants is one of the world’s really great theater troupes. Since the late 1970’s it has been a leading exponent of  interactive and immersive theater. It is ‘a collective of actors, musicians and artists devoted entirely to the world of creativity’. It mixes drama with circus, music, audio-visual (and , as we saw last night, pyrotechnics) …


… and gives the world performances of breathtaking spectaculars (ie: the closing ceremony of the Barcelona Olympics), street theater (‘Els Comediants led thousands around Battersea park chucking fireworks at us’), and avant garde and experimental works that have influenced the way that theater can be presented.

They are Catalan group from near Barcelona and they have always been fiercely interested in local folklore and culture. Much of their work celebrates the cyclical passage of humans on earth and last night we saw a mini-spectacular that was a fusion of Catalan creation tales and the Vietnamese creation myth of Au Co and Lac Long Quan, with a co-operative fusion between Els Comediants and the Vietnamese National Circus.

There were two audiences. The invited and prestigious group that were separated from the proletariat by a steel fence and a long line of fierce looking army guards. As pyrotechnically fabulous as the performance was and as interactive as the controlled venue allowed, I would have preferred this scenario: Instead of the proletariat outside the iron bars watching the theater of the prestigious and foreign (and press corp) politely watching the parades of dragons and fire, the prestigious ones would have been seated on tiers around the edges as they watched the locals – who had flocked in their thousands to the open space outside the forbidding fence – being the ideal interactive audience reveling in the cascades of sparks spewing all around and over them. What a brilliant metaphor it would have been of the hatched eggs and the children of the fairy and the dragon playing peacefully and joyously before they spread in their separate diasporas to the sea and the mountains.

A good performance that could have been immeasurably better had it been more democratically involving.

The final scene with the maiden sailing aloft under a sphere of the earth was a message of hope for the future that has been a signature of the troupe since its Olympic Games success.

Then came the next adventure – trying to get through the mad traffic across town to L’Espace to catch the rest of Tri Minh’s show. It wasn’t easy, but it worked, and it was worth the trip – a completely different atmosphere with DJ Kruise on the turntable and L’Espace transformed into a dance floor. But Tri Minh also offers more than just a club atmosphere, combining his electronic music with live percussionists, contemporary noise musician Vu Nhat Tan, vocalist Tung Duong, film by Isaak Le and Vincent Baumont, and video by Nguyen Duc Tu. A memorable evening.

Rhythms of Hanoi - backstage at L'Espace
Rhythms of Hanoi - backstage at L'Espace

DJ Kruise

Tri Minh

Vu Nhat TanNguyen Duc Tu

Related posts:

KVT day 1
KVT day 2

KVT day 3
KVT day 4
KVT day 5

KVT day 6
KVT day 8
KVT day 9

KVT day 10

KVT day 11

KVT day 12

Not a reviewer, not a critic, “Kiếm Văn Tìm” is an interested, impartial and informed observer and connoisseur of the Hanoi art scene who offers highly opinionated remarks and is part of the long and venerable tradition of anonymous correspondents. Please add your thoughts in the comment field below.

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