Uncovering the Skills of the Vietnamese Cirque Brothers

On December 22, 2016, with skilled moves to keep their balance when putting their heads together, two Vietnamese brothers, who are circus performers, climbed all 90 steps of the Girona Cathedral Church (in Girona, Spain) in 52 seconds.

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The impressive performance was carried out by two brothers, Giang Quoc Co and Giang Quoc Nghiep, who were invited by the Directorate of the Spanish Circus to perform on the occasion of the Church’s 600th anniversary. During their performance, Quoc Co created a support base for Quoc Nghiep to execute his balanced moves. With highly challenging and risky maneuvers, their performance attracted numerous spectators including local officials, church dignitaries, foreign circus performers, and a local audience.

On January 6, 2017, the two brothers received exciting news. Their outstanding performance in Girona was officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as a new world record. This achievement surpasses the previous record set by Tang Tao and Su Zengxian, two Chinese circus performers, in 2014. They climbed 25 steps within 60 seconds in Xiamen city of China’s Fujian province.

Image of Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep at Girona Church in Spain

Quoc Co provides a foundation for Quoc Nghiep as he climbs the steps at Girona Church in Spain.

Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep coordinate with each other in a challenging move.

Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep coordinate with each other in a challenging move.

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Skillful maneuvers to maintain balance while putting their heads together.

Photo: File

Girona Cathedral Church

A group of individuals successfully climbed all 90 steps of the Girona Cathedral Church in Girona, Spain, achieving this feat in just 52 seconds.

Photo: File

On January 6, 2017, the two brothers received great news. The Guinness Book of World Records officially recognized their performance in Girona as a new world record.

Photo: File

Circus performers

Earlier in 2014, in Xiamen city of China’s Fujian province, two Chinese circus performers, Tang Tao and Su Zengxian, achieved a world record by climbing 25 steps in 60 seconds. The impressive feat showcased their incredible strength and agility.

Photo: File

Circus performers

Their performance attracted a diverse audience including local officials, church dignitaries, foreign circus performers, and local residents.

Photo: File

“When my brother and I reached the 90th step of the church, we couldn’t believe that we did it in only 52 seconds, less than the 60-second goal set by the organizers. So we set a new world record, which was also our personal best at that time,” recalled Quoc Co, filled with strong emotions.

Several foreign media outlets, including renowned publications such as NBC News, AFP, The Strait Times, Emporda, and Getty Images, prominently showcased captivating images of the remarkable performance by two talented Vietnamese circus performers in Girona.

The Giang brothers, nicknamed the “circus princes” in Vietnam, possess remarkable strength and flexibility in their muscle movements, coupled with visually appealing physiques. Their extensive training as brothers has enabled them to flawlessly synchronize every move, paying attention to even the smallest detail. They have captivated both domestic and international audiences with their unique circus performances, with their most renowned act, “Power of hands,” earning them widespread acclaim.

The highlight of this performance is the incredible feat where Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep face opposite directions. Quoc Co serves as a solid base for his older brother to jump from, before placing his head on Quoc Co’s head. In this precarious position, they manage to climb backward on the steps, showcasing their exceptional balance and coordination. This act not only captivates the audience with its artistic brilliance, but also highlights the two performers’ seamless teamwork. Each role is crucial in showcasing their extraordinary talent and executing challenging maneuvers.

The two performers have amassed 15 years of experience in the circus industry, with a strong focus on showcasing their extraordinary hand skills. They have traveled across 30 countries and territories, earning accolades and awards at prestigious domestic and international competitions. Among their achievements are three gold medals and three silver medals at renowned circus festivals in Italy, Russia, China, and Cuba. They have also been honored with two special prizes at the Monte Carlo and Monaco Circus Festivals, in addition to several other prizes in their home country.

In late 2016, Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep showcased their circus drama titled “Brothers – Convergence of Quintessence” in Ho Chi Minh City. This performance celebrated their 15th anniversary in the circus industry.

One particularly impressive act in the show was “Power of hands”. This act displayed a higher level of difficulty and technique, captivating the audience with its incredible skill. The circus drama successfully engaged and emotionally moved spectators, leaving a lasting impact on their hearts and minds.


A circus move performed by Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep to celebrate 15 years
of their career on November 3, 2016, in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: File


Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep skillfully coordinate with each other in a challenging move. (Photo: File)


They were recognized as distinguished young citizens of Ho Chi Minh City in 2011 due to their outstanding accomplishments. Photo: File

During their performances abroad for the Christmas and New Year 2017 holidays, the two Vietnamese “circus princes” made a profound impression on the international circus community by setting a new world record at Girona Cathedral in Spain, as mentioned previously.

Both Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep have achieved notable success in their careers, resulting in them being honored with the prestigious title of “Merited Actor” by the Vietnamese State. Quoc Co received this esteemed title at the age of 28, while Quoc Nghiep earned the title at the age of 26.

The two circus performers, often referred to as the “circus princes,” enthusiastically shared their future plans. They expressed their commitment to enhancing their technique in their captivating “Power of Hands” act, while also expressing their aspiration to introduce a diverse range of mesmerizing circus performances to audiences in Vietnam.


A circus performance by Quoc Co and Quoc Nghiep to commemorate 15 years of their successful career on November 3, 2016, in Ho Chi Minh City. Image: File

Brothers performing at the street festival during the 6th Buon Me Thuot Coffee Festival and the 2017 Central Highlands Gong Cultural Festival.
Brothers performing at the street festival during the 6th Buon Me Thuot Coffee Festival and the 2017 Central Highlands Gong Cultural Festival. Photo: Le Minh/VNP

Story: Son Nghia – Photos: Le Minh, Nguyen Luan, and files