Vietnam’s circus has great potential abroad

Vietnam’s circus has won many accolades in international competitions, where circus artists had an opportunity to perform in several foreign countries and proved their prowess by taking up international challenges.

Brothers Giang Quoc Co and Giang Quoc Nghiep performing at the 2011 International Summer Circus Festival in Havana, Cuba from August 8-14 (Photo: Tuoitre)

Vietnam has won a gold medal at the third international circus festival that took place in Albacete in Spain from February 14-25 this year.

Artists performed the show “Superman Swing”, in which eight artists from the Vietnam Circus Federation also won the ‘Audience Favorite Award’, based on 10,000 spectator votes.

Last month, at the 2011 International Summer Circus Festival held in Havana in Cuba from August 8-14, the brothers Giang Quoc Co and Giang Quoc Nghiep of Vietnam won the Grand Prix prize.

They performed the show “Power of Arms,” which had earlier won a gold medal at the Hanoi International Circus Festival in 2010. The duo impressed judges and audiences with their perfect balance, strength and beautifully graceful movements.

These successes have been promising and an excellent opportunity for Vietnamese artists to present their artistic skills on a foreign land. 

Compared to other art forms, circus has an advantage of reaching out to audiences with its graceful language and easy to understand style, for all class of society. That is why circus operators have been organizing many shows in foreign countries recently.

The Ho Chi Minh City Circus Association sends artists to perform in Taiwan each year from March to June, drawing tens of thousands of viewers to the theater. The circus has recently been invited to perform in Japan, a place where Vietnamese artists are warmly received.

Challenges ahead 

According to circus artists, Vietnamese circus shows that have been staged abroad are small performances not magnificent spectacles.

In fact, Vietnam’s circus has no shortage of artists in the sector, because if necessary, Vietnam can invite foreign experts to collaborate. However, the country is short of funds and should more funds be made available, Vietnam can do excellently, having already proved its ability by winning accolades in international festivals.

Circus artists spent five years practicing Lang toi ( My village) shows to perform in overseas countries which were so successful and attracted such a great deal of attention that artists were later invited to present on larger stages abroad.

Despite these successes, artists are very worried. Musician Ho Van Thanh, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Circus Association said the circus has performed on stages in France for nine years, this year being its tenth. Artists must now think of adding new performances if they do not want to stagnate with repetitive shows. 

Thanh proposes more investments in this art form to bring Vietnamese circus to outshine in South-East Asian region as well as in other Asian and European countries.

By Do Hanh – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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