Suddenly, something struck me a week or two ago, and I wanted to go see the circus. But to be perfectly honest, my hopes were less than high, given the general track record of locally produced entertainment here. My point can be made with a few images from this ‘monkey circus‘ I found earlier last year.

Then, an opportunity to check it out for the magazine presented itself, and a writer and I first went to have a quick look at the big top tent that resides at the end of the backpacker area in Saigon. Upon inspection, it looked about like I thought it would, perhaps a bit better, but a few surprises were still yet to come. We returned to the office, called and quickly arranged some free tickets (they’re about twenty dollars each, quite a lot for Vietnam, which probably plays a role in its sparse occupancy) and back to the tent a few hours later, not sure what we were in for. The lights went down, the music up, and the stage erupted with the frantic energy of the performers. Within a minute or two, we both looked at each other with a sort of intriguing, ‘not too bad’ expression. He sat and watched it, taking in the story line, and I made my way around the ring’s edges, shooting in rapid fire mode, hoping to catch a few good moments. I think I did. I also returned a few days later to shoot backstage with the performers. Those images will come very soon. For now, enjoy the show!

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)

The Xin Chao Circus in central Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, resides in a shabby, often empty big top, yet nearly fifty perfomers erupt into the ring to provide a suprisingly well crafted and executed performance, based around two sisters, and national heroines of ancient Vietnam. (Quinn Ryan Mattingly)