Photo Credit: Maria Baranova


by Anh Vo

A Multimedia Solo Performance in Memory of the Ghosts of the
Vietnam War

24, 25 & 26 NOV
MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)

First Ever Performance in Front of a Live Audience

A semi-naked body kneels in front of the iconic image of Thich Quang Duc’s self-immolation (1963). An altar is carefully set up centre stage. Rituals are meticulously performed. Fragmented narratives unfold, interspersed with myriad historical and contemporary references.

Anh Vo’s solo, BABYLIFT, attempts to conjure the ghosts of the Vietnam War (a.k.a. the Resistance War Against Imperialist America). Named after a 1975 mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to Western countries — which resulted in a plane crash that killed 78 of those children — BABYLIFT is first a memorial to the unmourned and unremembered. Striving to queer linear masculinist history, Vo weaves together cultural memories of the US Civil Rights Movement, freedom fantasies of the 1960s, contemporary pop culture, and current leftist activism. Set to a disorienting soundscape, BABYLIFT juxtaposes repetitive ritualistic movements with sexually provocative gestures, speculating on the erotic of haunting that can be both terrifying and pleasurable.

“I can’t just conjure the ghosts and let them run wild. I try to stay with my emotions and memories.” – Anh Vo for The Brooklyn Rail

Premiered in Sunset Park, Brooklyn at Target Margin Theatre, this performance was first presented in an empty theatre with no digital or in-person audience. Vo chose instead to offer these first performances of BABYLIFT to the ghosts of the Vietnam War. Montreal audiences are now invited to this multimedia performance where ritual, queerness and pop culture intertwine.

Written, Choreographed, and Performed by Anh Vo

Creative Producer: Benedict Nguyen
Set Designer: Kyle b. co
Sound Designer: Isaac Silber
Video: Yiyang Cao
Photos: Maria Baranova & Yekaterina Gyadu
Dramaturg: Bianca Ulloa

by Anh Vo

24, 25 & 26 NOV, 7:30 PM

MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
3680, Jeanne-Mance

Regular → $28  •  Reduced → $22  •  Junior & Groups → $16  •  Accompanying person → $0  •  Passport 4/4 → $64