05/06/2016 20:50 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Children’s Circus Troupe Led by An Old Performer

Well-known for interesting circus performances that impressed countless audiences, Ngoc Vien (real name Nguyen Van Duc) is also famous for his humanity as he has adopted, cared for and taught many underprivileged children. The 70 year-old artist has accepted more than 300 children and established Ngoc Vien Children’s Circus Troupe, which has performed in different places nationwide.
Ngoc Vien’s modest house in a small valley in District 4, Ho Chi Minh City is the practicing place for the troupe. Realising her five-year-old son had talents in the field, Nguyen Le Quoc Bao’s mother made her way to this house and asked  Ngoc Vien to adopt and teach him circus performing. Bao is also one of the last children that he accepted as Ngoc Vien has decided that he is too old now to teach more kids.

70-year-old Ngoc Vien (Real name Nguyen Van Duc) in February, 2016.

Ngoc Vien helps his grandchild to perform on a one-wheel bike. 

Ngoc Vien instructs a small member of the troupe to perform a backbend. 

Ngoc Vien teaches a girl in the troupe to perform ring juggling.

He carefully instructs all members of the troupe.

Ngoc Vien Children’s Circus Troupe includes Ngoc Vien’s offspring, children he has taken in and grandchildren.

The old man resting. 
Fascinated about circus performing since he was small, Ngoc Vien tried every possible way to learn about it. He learned from circus troupes that travelled here and there, applying to be an apprentice for famous troupes to pursue his passion. Thanks to his natural aptitude, he mastered several performing techniques and created new and unique acts. He then became the famous performer Ngoc Vien who was widely recognised on nationwide stages before 1975.

His family troupe whose performers were mostly his relatives was established in 1986. After circus tours to faraway areas, Ngoc Vien took in underprivileged children and  taught them his professional techniques. Therefore, the troupe has expanded gradually. As most of its members are children, the troupe’s target audience is also children and students. Ngoc Vien’s troupe  is very popular among children in Ho Chi Minh City. Thao Cam Vien, Ky Hoa Lake, Tao Dan Park or children playgrounds and primary schools are the main stages for the troupe that gives intriguing circus performances and treats its little audience to fun and laughter.

Ngoc Vien Children’s Circus Troupe is the only active family circus group in Ho Chi Minh City with more than 30 years of existence. Its members are also the members of a 3-generation family, including artist Ngoc Vien, who is the head of the troupe, the big father, the teacher; his offspring; children who he has taken in and grandchildren.

Checking tools before performing.

Circus performer Minh Man, the eldest son of Ngoc Vien, performs in front of students
at Cuu Long Primary School, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

A comedic martial arts fight performed by two small members of Ngoc Vien Children’s Circus Troupe. 

Children smile when watching circus acts performed by Ngoc Vien Children’s Circus Troupe.

Ngoc Vien is happy to bring fun and laughter to children. 

Many children have grown up in the troupe, some continue their career in circuses while others chose different occupations. Anyway, the real happiness of the old man is to witness his children mature and lead a decent life.

Story: Son Nghia – Photos: Thong Hai