Traditional theatre offers summer programme for students

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COUNTRYSIDE MUSIC: Dozens of young and veteran artists from Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s State-owned traditional art troupes, have participated in a new art programme to preserve traditional Vietnamese music and theatre launched this summer. More than 70 shows will be offered free for students in HCM City and Thủ Đức City. Photo courtesy of the organiser

HCM CITY — The Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre is offering a summer programme featuring cải lương (reformed opera) targeting primary and secondary students in HCM City and Thủ Đức City.

The programme is called Ước Mơ Của Em (My Dream) and includes new shows staged by veteran and young performers, including Meritorious Artist Lam Tuyền and young talents Nhật Nguyên and Khánh Ngọc.

The artists perform folk music, cải lương,tuồng or hát bội (classical drama) — the two traditional genres of Vietnamese theatre which began a hundred years ago. Traditional instruments used in Vietnamese theatre are also introduced.

They will visit and perform Vietnamese folk songs and dances, and one and two-act shows in cải lương and tuồng for students in the districts of Gò Vấp, Bình Tân and Củ Chi and Thủ Đức City.

They will also perform two famous extracts from Tiếng Trống Mê Linh, (The sounds of Mê Linh Drum), a cải lương play on national heroines Hai Bà Trưng (two Trưng women) from 1977.

The play tells the life of Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, the two sisters who led the first resistance movement against the Chinese occupation in the first century, around 2,000 years ago.

The sisters led their troops on elephants to repel Chinese invasions. Their victory brought liberation for Đại Việt (an old name for Việt Nam) after 247 years of Chinese domination.

“Our summer programme, Ước Mơ Của Em, encourages students to love traditional art, especially cải lương, a symbolic form of Vietnamese theatre that originated and expanded in southern Việt Nam, particularly in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta provinces, after watching our live performances,” said Phan Quốc Kiệt, director of Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre.

“Through our art, we hope young generations will improve their knowledge in Vietnamese history and culture.”

The programme, Ước Mơ Của Em, started last weekend and will offer 72 free shows. VNS

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