Sports & Entertainment
Xin Chao upgrades city’s circus theater for new show
  • | SGT | October 21, 2010 01:22 PM

Xin Chao Art Performance Co. Ltd. is investing heavily in the upgrade of the Ho Chi Minh City Circus Theater at September 23 Park in District 1 in preparation for the premiere of a major show about Vietnam for international tourists and locals.

Vietnamese performers practice the “Xin Chao” production at the HCMC Circus Theater in downtown area on Tuesday

Augustus Greaves, operation director and producer of the Vietnamese company Xin Chao, told the Daily on Tuesday that the cultural show entitled “Xin Chao” (hello) had three parts featuring the tale of Lac Long Quan and his wife Au Co, heroines Trung Sisters and the present life of Vietnam. The aim is to show the country’s rich culture to the world.

To make the circus theater an attractive venue for recreation, Greaves said the site would be given a facelift after the upgrade to incorporate areas for audiences to enjoy drinks and buy souvenirs before and after the production.

Greaves did not disclose the exact investment in the facelift but said the company was spending a substantial amount of money on renewing the theater on Pham Ngu Lao Street and adjacent to an area of international backpackers in HCMC.

Again, he did not say how much the company had invested in producing the “Xin Chao” show but noted this kind of show would normally cost US$250,000 based on a research that he had made from art performing shows around the world.

The production is scheduled for a premiere in early December, a time when international visitor arrivals in HCMC pick up. Greaves said foreign visitors to Vietnam had been rebounding strongly and growing nearly 35% year-on-year.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT), the country attracted more than 3.7 million international visitors in the January-September period, an impressive increase of 34.2% over the same period last year.

The majority of international visitors to Vietnam go through HCMC, giving the company confidence in the success of the show of 80 minutes including intermissions.

Greaves said Xin Chao had met with travel agents in Vietnam and other markets including Thailand, the Philippines and Korea to promote the show. “We have received a good response from these travel agents.”

The company plans to stage “Xin Chao” every day in the early evening so that audiences will have time to go out for dinner at restaurants, drinks at bars and shopping in this economic hub of Vietnam.

Greaves said Vietnam was a beautiful country of internationally renowned attractions, and HCMC was the destination of most of inbound tourists to Vietnam. However, most attractions here are daytime activities focused on visitation and photography.

“Xin Chao is a theatrical attraction and experience to fill the gap in HCMC nighttime entertainment markets,” Greaves said.

The all-Vietnamese cast includes more than 50 performers and employs some of the country’s top acrobats, martial artists and traditional/contemporary dancers. Experienced producer and director Laura Burke has applied her film making talents in scripting the stories of Vietnam into an internationally appealing story line.

Burke has also written a music score featuring the traditional sounds of Vietnam. “The Xin Chao experience will be wonderful for Vietnamese guests and will make memories for tourists to take back home,” Greaves said.

Xin Chao described the production as the same genre as Cirque du Soleil, which was originally Canadian and is now a global phenomenon including popular shows in Japan and Macau; Voyage de la Vie in Singapore and Siam Niramit Cultural Show in Thailand’s Bangkok.

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