Teh Dar – Lune Production
Teh Dar by Lune Production is memerizing and enchanting in turns. Oscillating between frenzied action and calmer, poignant moments, it symbolically imagines life as lived by the ethnic minorities in the mountainous regions of Vietnam. Teh Dar literally means ‘going in circle’ and the circle metaphor looms large throughout the production – birth, death and re-birth if you like. Physically too, circles are everwhere suggesting no beginning and no end.
The production is world-class on every front. The all-important tradional music performed on impressive age-old Tay Nguyenese instruments, especially horns, drums and gongs alongside harmonically eerie and arresting vocals transports one, not just to the highlands, but seemingly back in time to a tribal world several millenia ago. The choreography is refreshingly original and the lighting bold and impactive.
In a simple but vey impressive bamboo cirque we encounter many aspects of tribal life – from wild animal hunts to festive feasts, from bold warfare to moonlit romance. Throughout, the performers are spinning and twirling in circles with astonishing dexterity and dizzying skill.
Teh Dar can be appreciated on many levels. Children love it for its color, movement and tumbling acrobatics. Adults will enjoy that for sure but they’ll also be intrigued by insights into an almost lost ancient tribal culture that’s still hanging in patches in the highlands around the Laos border.
This reviewer found it haunting, fascinating and positively thrilling. And, having seen two Lune Production shows now, I can unhesitatingly say that if you visit Vietnam and don’t see one, then that’s a great opportunity missed.
Lune Production hosts a cycle of shows in Hoi An, Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. For up-to-date details and to book see the complete program.