Lune Production Shows in Hoi An: A O Show, Teh Dar, My Village, The Mist, Palao

Lune Production is the signature cultural production group performing in Vietnam, comfortably described as Vietnam’s answer to Cirque du Soleil. It is an incredible display of Vietnamese talent in all of the arts, from dance and acrobatics to beatboxing and music production. Above all, the producers of Lune are highly aware of their Vietnamese tradition, and they capture this in each of Lune’s productions.

Essentially, Lune is a theatrical archive of the strong cultural and traditional ways of the Vietnamese — present and past. Therefore it offers the audience a glimpse into the specific pockets and times of a country that they’re fiercely proud of. The show is, in turn, soft and gentle as the still water in a rice pond, and at other times, explosive and chaotic like a Ho Chi Minh City Boulevard.

The show has a cast of 20 multi-talented performers who rotate doing acrobatics and contortion, juggling (giant sticks of bamboo three metres up), martial arts, trampoline tricks, dancing, and acting. There is also a live band of four instrumentalists who keep the show grooving to an eclectic blend of traditional Vietnamese folk and world music, and modern electronic dance and pop. In other words, their shows are some of the best you’ll see anywhere in the world, and the music is phenomenal.

Teh Dar Hoi An
One of the cast from Lune Production’s Teh Dar show poses with the performances signature masks. Photo: Travis Hodges

Lune Productions Shows

In Hoi An, Lune rotates shows throughout the year. Check which one is showing now by clicking here. Lune’s shows are family-friendly, although they don’t sell tickets for anyone under five years of age. The shows start at 6:00 p.m and last about one and a half hours.

Lune Performing Center in Hoi An has 299 seats that often sell out. The box office is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. There are three ticket tiers, the Ooh!, Aah!, and Wow! and tickets range from 700,000 VND to 1,600,000 VND (30 to 70 USD)

A O Show

AO derives its meaning from “Lang Pho,” which means village and city, and it’s with that theme the show unfolds. Like all vital art, AO acts as a cultural commentary, and it grapples with the usual conflicts: tradition vs. modernity, the placid calm of the country vs. the energy and tumult of the city, overpopulation vs. the need for privacy, and AO continues that effort.

Aesthetically, AO takes its tips from Stomp Out Loud, Blue Man Group, and Cirque du Soleil.  However it retains an identity unique to itself in a performance that’s unlike any you’ve ever seen. A O is exciting and suspenseful as each new jaw-dropping scene pulls you to the edge of your seat. Yet, it is also funny. The show casts a humorous light onto Vietnamese quirks you’ve likely grown accustomed to; the crazy streets, the familiarity with one’s chatty neighbours, and the occasional power outages.

Lune Production: AO Show rehearsals
Rehearsals for Lune Production’s A O Show. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Teh Dar

Teh Dar, meaning “going in circle” in the K’ho’s tongue, takes you on a vividly portrayed adventure of Highland culture and tradition. This Lune production captures the lifestyles and ways of the exotic Vietnamese highland tribes in the southwest. Showcasing slow romance, jungle folklore and tribal games, along with the talented use of fading traditional tribal instruments. The performance seemingly transports you to the ethnic villages.

Expect a high contrast between each act, from light-hearted jungle games to dark reincarnations. Therefore the space is constantly changing and is thoughtfully used—with slow mindful movements, as well as quick and incredibly well-timed stunts. It’s this fluid nature of Teh Dar that makes it such an engaging show. Through its theatrical brilliance, it has helped preserve a piece of the dwindling hill tribes’ culture within the country.

My Village

Taking you on a rich and cultural trip through the life of North Vietnam’s village life is My Village. Therefore with the use of some extremely talented artists, you’re shown the rich daily life of the people. But it’s the diversity of the acts—ranging from poetic, theatrical, and rhythmic—that really draws you in. Farming and gathering food is brought to light with the use of bamboo props. Then it’s all tied together with the expert use of over 20 unique instruments from the north.

The Lune AO performers
Performers from Lune’s A O Show pose for Hidden Hoi An during a rehearsal. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

The Mist

Chronicling the humble farmers of southern Vietnam, The Mist showcases the joys and hardships faced throughout a season. From rising early with mist-filled patties to unpredictable weather. Although many of the jaw-dropping acts expected from Lune are found within The Mist, dance and the use of thoughtful lighting take a strong lead to convey the emotions and mentalities of the show.

Palao

Lune Productions latest show debuted on November 9th 2018.  Palao (the Cham word for ‘letting go’) is a soulful dance carrying Cham spirit and culture, rendered in contemporary stage language. When young adults leave their homes on a quest to find their fate, the Cham people need to “palao”.  

Hoi An has strong connections to the rich Cham culture. It’s early history was as part of the Cham Empire which occupied much of what is now central and lower Vietnam. My Son was the spiritual capital and Hoi An the commercial capital, with the Cham people controlling the tremendous wealth of the early spice trade. So the artists from Palao spent time here in Central Vietnam bonding together through the colourful rituals of the Cham people – learning pottery, cooking, feasting and playing music.

Some 20 artists sing, dance, and play traditional Cham instruments. Various-sized terracotta pots of several meanings and signature white-coloured costumes make a bold statement of Cham culture. Humanity and togetherness are the core values embraced in Palao. The show carries hope to bring the beauty of the Cham culture to world audiences as a tribute to the Cham ethnicity whose heritage shapes a large part in the foundation of Vietnamese culture.

Lune Production: AO Show performer
Lune performers showing off their skills before a performance of A O Show. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Venues to Watch a Lune Production Show

Lune Performing Centre in Hoi An

Built on An Hoi, a small island just south of Hoi An is the Hoi An base for the Lune Performing Centre. The first venue constructed specifically for the company opened its doors to guests in February 2018. This beautiful moon-shaped dome theatre is bedecked with wicker-basket chandeliers and bamboo scaffolds.

Entering the Lune Performance Centre can feel like you’ve crawled into a massive birds nest. Also used in the structure’s creation were clay, brick, and stones. The idea was to use materials rooted in nature to conjure up a humble yet timeless charm. Interestingly, the building was designed so that it can be dismantled when flooding occurs on the island.

Lune Performing Centre holds an intimate setting, with 299 seats situated in a semi-circle right up at the stage’s forefront. It gives the impression as though the audience is on the stage—this effect is even more pronounced by the performers who occasionally run out into the seats and exit rows. Because of the venue’s size, a good view is given regardless of where you’re seated. It’s worth mentioning that you cannot eat, drink, or take photos inside the auditorium.

Hidden Hint: Even if it’s hot and humid outside we’d suggest bringing a jumper or shall as the air conditioning in the performance centre can make it quite cold.

Lune Production: A O Show cast
The cast of Lune Productions A O Show. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

How to Get to the Lune Performing Centre

Lune Performing Center is at the eastern end of An Hoi island. MAP. You can either catch a cab there or walk through the pedestrian-only Old Town waterfront. To get there from the Japanese Covered Bridge, simply cross the An Hoi bridge to An Hoi Island (not the Japanese bridge—the An Hoi bridge) and turn left once over the bridge. Follow the Thuy Bon river all the way to the end of the island and the Lune Performing Arts Centre.

Driving is slightly more complicated as much of the Old Town is off-limits to cars and motorbikes. So you must go all the way around the Old Town and cross over onto An Hoi island from Phan Chu Trinh street. Then continue straight until you get to Nguyen Phuc Tan where you turn right and then immediately left onto Ngo Quyen. This road leads all the way around to the Lune Performing Arts Centre.

WebAddress: Dong Hiep Park, Nguyen Phuc Chu St.Email: reservation@luneproduction.comPrice: A Zone – 700,000 VND (30 USD), O Zone – 1,150,000 VND (50 USD), W Zone – 1,600,000 VND (70 USD)

Lune Production: A O Show warm up
A O Show performers warm up during rehearsals. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Other Venues to Catch Lune Production Shows in Vietnam

Lune Production’s shows currently rotate through three cities in Vietnam—Hoi An, Saigon, and Hanoi. Each theatre is unique and offers a different setting for the viewer to enjoy the shows. Additionally, Lune Production started to tour internationally over the last couple of years, with performances already taken place in New Zealand, Brazil, France, Germany, and Oman. in addition with Lune’s popularity growing, expect to see their unique shows in some incredibly iconic venues around the world.

Saigon Opera House

This beautiful building also known as the Municipal Theatre and was constructed in 1897 by a French architect named Eugene Ferret. The building sits in Lam Son Square, on the popular shopping street of Le Loi. The Saigon Opera House was intended to be used as an opera house, but by 1956 the structure functioned as the home of the Lower House Assembly of Vietnam. When the war was over, it was converted back to its original use and then later restored in 1995. The auditorium is seriously impressive with its three levels and 468 seats to choose from. The oval-shaped auditorium offers each seat a fantastic view. The space elegant and beautifully designed, making it a great choice to experience Lune’s shows.

Hanoi Opera House

Set in the centre of Hanoi is a glorious piece of French architecture—the Hanoi Opera House. Completed in 1911 by two French architects and modelled after Palais Garnier, the older of Paris’ two opera houses. After 1945 the opera house became the centre of many important political events. But was later restored and returned to its former glory in 1997. The Hanoi Opera House is the largest theatre in the country and provides a magnificent setting for any show. There are three levels and 589 seats, along with an impressive interior of white marble, elegant chandeliers, and French murals decorating the ceiling.

Lune Production: Teh Dar performer
Teh Dar performer poses for a portrait during an exclusive shoot with Hidden Hoi An. Photo: Hidden Hoi An

Hanoi Vietnam Tuong Theatre

Lune Productions second venue in Hanoi sits on Duong Thanh Street, which was once named Rue de la Citadelle by the French. The old “Olympia” cinematheque, now Vietnam Tuong Theatre, is a 100-year-old neo-classical building where Vietnamese culture and performing arts collide. The building has stood through many changes in Hanoi and was the site of a major fight in 1946 between the French and Vietnamese revolutionary army. The only battles the theatre now hosts play out on stage…

What to Expect from Lune Productions in Years to Come

Lune is unique in the fact that they don’t rely on technologically-advanced stage elements, intense light sequences, or the need to constantly top their previous show with a new edgy masterpiece. Instead, the shows themselves evolve over time. For example, the AO Show of 2014 is not the same show as in 2018. The ideas that fuel these changes come not only from the creative director but from the performers too.

What this means for you as an audience member is that as these shows age, they only get better. As more ideas from the performers make it onto the stage, each idea ties a stronger connection of pride into the performance. However, with Lune’s development process, don’t expect a new show with the arrival of every new year. Because it takes one year to reach the point of debuting a new production and two years after that to allow it to go international if they feel that it’s ready.

Hidden’s Thoughts

Lune Production is a true one-of-a-kind production that represents the strong and proud cultural passion of Vietnam. Remarkable shows by any standard and easily appreciated by all who experience the skill and talent behind them. Depending on what budget you’re travelling on, the Lune Production shows can be slightly expensive. But this could be one of those nights you choose to treat yourself.

In Hoi An, Lune Production is conveniently located in the Old Town and held in a unique intimate venue. Catching a Lune show in Hoi An has the added bonus of getting a close-up look at the incredible performers and set.  Because regardless of where you sit you won’t be far from the action.

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