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6 Spectacular Live Performances You Don’t Want to Miss in Southeast Asia

Your guide to enchanting live shows and unique performances that simply must be savoured during your time in Southeast Asia.

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Art & Culture

6 Spectacular Live Performances You Don’t Want to Miss in Southeast Asia

Your guide to enchanting live shows and unique performances that simply must be savoured during your time in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asian countries are coloured by their rich histories, exoticism and cultural uniqueness. These qualities can be relished through a great number of means, the most prominent of which would be through the performing arts. Since time immemorial, the performing arts have played a vital role in defining the identities of ASEAN countries—while also serving as a platform through which the world can come together to enjoy the best that Southeast Asia has to offer. After all, as philanthropist and financier David Rubenstein describes it, “The performing arts tend to unify people in a way nothing else does.”

Here, we zoom in on some of these performances and give you a brief taste of the wonders they have in store. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

1. Devdan: Treasure of the Archipelago (Indonesia)

Hailed as Indonesia’s leading performing arts extravaganza, ‘Devdan: Treasure of the Archipelago’ tells the tale of two children and the adventures they embark on upon discovering a treasure chest while on a tour of Bali. The treasures in this chest take the children—and the audience—to various parts of Indonesia, allowing them to immerse in the local cultures of these regions through colourful performances and dazzling sets. The result? A thoroughly magical live show that is perfect for the vibrant land of Indonesia.

WHERE: Bali’s Nusa Dua Theatre, Indonesia
WHEN: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7.00 p.m. local time
WEBSITE: www.devdanshow.com


2. MUD: Our Story of Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)

Aptly called Malaysia’s longest running musical, ‘MUD: Our Story of Kuala Lumpur’ has been entertaining audiences for well over a year now since 2014. It relates the tale of three friends and the challenges they face while trying to make a living, set against the backdrop of Kuala Lumpur in the 19th century. Through this live show, you will be given the chance to take a closer look at Malaysia’s capital in its earliest days, while also understanding the values and qualities that have come to define Malaysia’s multicultural society. Expect energetic choreography that brings together some of Malaysia’s most iconic traditional dances, a dynamic set and the chance to perform on stage with the show’s performers. Keep an eye out for the musical’s digitized and transforming backdrop too!

WHERE: Panggung Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
WHEN: Twice daily at 3.00 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. local time
WEBSITE: mudkl.com


3. À Ố Show (Vietnam)

Otherwise known as the ‘Ahhh! Ohhh! Show’, the ‘À Ố Show’ has been staged continuously since February 2013. It illustrates the culture of both rural and urban Vietnam, through a captivating affair of acrobatics, dancing and visual arts. One of its most unique features is the fact that the props which are used in the show are made entirely out of bamboo, as a means of representing the flexibility, strength and harmony of the people of Vietnam. It also incorporates the usage of traditional Vietnamese musical instruments, lending to the show’s backdrop of a growing Vietnam.

WHERE: Saigon Opera House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
WHEN: Twice a day at 6.00 p.m. and 8.00 p.m. local time, but subject to performance date schedule that can be found online
WEBSITE: www.aoshowsaigon.com


4. Phare Cambodian Circus (Cambodia)

Revolving around the tagline “Uniquely Cambodian, Daringly Modern”, the Phare Cambodian Circus is an organisation that performs to make a difference. It is defined by doses of circus acts, music, dance and theatre, all brought together by a host of young talents to recreate Cambodian stories from different points of time. These stories are depicted through different performances, each with unique themes of their own—such as bullying and passion. The Phare Cambodian Circus is also applauded for its mission to provide employment for Cambodian youth and to contribute financially to the Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO School, which ensures the survival of performing arts in Cambodia.

WHERE: Phare – The Cambodian Circus, Siem Reap, Cambodia
WHEN: Daily at 8.00 p.m., but subject to performance date schedule that can be found online
WEBSITE: www.pharecambodiancircus.org


5. Water Puppet Show (Vietnam)

Water puppetry is a traditional art form that is unique to Vietnam, having its origins rooted in the 11th century. Its spread was facilitated by communal ponds, which were common features in villages and towns throughout the country. It is used to relay tales about rural life in Vietnam, as well as to pass on ancient Vietnamese folklore from one generation to the next. Lacquered wooden puppets are used for the purpose of this art form, and these are controlled by puppeteers who are submerged in waist-deep levels of water backstage. An especially famous practitioner of water puppetry is the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, an establishment that has toured the world and garnered global fame for its craft.

WHERE: Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, Hanoi, Vietnam
WHEN: Daily at 3.00 p.m., 4.10 p.m., 5.20 p.m., 6.30 p.m. and 8.00 p.m., with additional shows on Sundays at 9.30 a.m. local time
WEBSITE: www.thanglongwaterpuppet.org

6. Siam Niramit Bangkok (Thailand)

Exhibiting three facets of Thailand, ‘Siam Niramit’ will amaze you from the moment you take your seat. Boasting over a hundred performers, more than 500 costumes and state-of-the-art special effects, the show certainly delivers in the department of portraying the magical side of Thailand. Audience members can look forward to learning more about Thailand’s history, its religious and mystical beliefs, and the country’s famous festivals. You can also catch the show in Phuket, where it is staged in an equally grand fashion. You will find plenty of entertainment around the performance area prior to the show as well, as there are numerous activities—such as traditional Thai massages and elephant rides—to partake in.

WHERE: Siam Niramit Bangkok, Tiamruammit Road, Bangkok, Thailand
WHEN: Daily at 8.00 p.m. local time
WEBSITE: www.siamniramit.com

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