About the show: “Ionah” is the story of a beautiful young girl whose love for Hanoi is as pure and as strong as it is for her young boyfriend. Her happiness and love are put to the test when an accident causes an unfortunate delay and a serious misunderstanding.
The story is set in motion as Ionah waits for her sweetheart and becomes increasingly angry that he is late. Unable to curb her fury, the girl vents her anger with a slap on her sweetheart's cheek. This act of inflicting pain on another causes Ionah to immediately be punished, as she is hurled into a fantasy world where she undergoes a bizarre journey of soul-searching.
Ionah's deep resentment, jealousy and anger push her into the darkest corners of her soul. Lost in her illusion and blinded by anger, Ionah is tormented by shadows and gloom: she meets a series of supernatural characters such as giant spiders, the king of bats, dancing skeletons, and the ferryman of the forgetful, each symbolizing her worst feelings. Yet hope remains; along her journey beautiful creatures and friends remind her of love, beauty, and happiness. Ionah faces the demons in her mind, bravely escaping the darkness and returning to the reality of life, happiness, and love. Ionah returns to the arms of her boyfriend and is surrounded by friends in their lovely Hanoi.
Delightful imagination is on display through a diverse language of genres including modern dance, theatrical arts, break dancing, and visual arts. The play was inspired by the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri and many scenes are strongly influenced by Western mythology. Ionah uses state-of-the-art visual and audio technology to conjure the surreal world of Lady Ionah's journey along with top-notch visual design and music composition.
Part I: Somewhere in Hanoi
Scene 1: The street dance
Scene 2: Hatred is as blind as love
Part II: The inferno of anger
Scene 3: The dancing bones
Scene 4: Lighting match
Scene 5: Kingdom of the spiders
Scene 6: The darkness dance
Scene 7: The river of forgetfulness
Scene 8: The hall of mirrors
Scene 9: The destruction and regeneration
Part III: The return of love
Scene 10: Rising from the ashes
Scene 11: The forest carnival
Scene 12: Love is found
Scene 13: The happiness dance
After over one year in production, Ionah officially premiered in September 2015. It's a work of art that features a variety of established names in Vietnam's theatrical industry: scriptwriter and general director Pham Hoang Nam; music director Quoc Trung; circus director Tong Toan Thang; choreographer Tran Ly Ly; costume designer Cong Tri; and visual director Fernando Toma. The play is one of Hanoi's most unique cultural activities and is expected to be embraced by local audiences and visitors alike.