March, 08 2014 08:53:00

Artist vets return to Dien Bien Phu

Concert to mark historic victory over French colonial forces

Battle music: Vietnamese soldiers pull a heavy cannon over a slope to the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Composer Hoang Van, who wrote the song Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Cannon Pulling), will join a pilgimage to the historic site. — File Photo

HA NOI  (VNS) — More than 100 performers and artists will tomorrow join a pilgrimage to Dien Bien Phu, where in May, 1954, the Vietnamese military defeated French colonial troops, ending the domination of the French in Indochina.

The group will include several artists who were members of the military during the historical campaign: composer Hoang Van, writer Ho Phuong, poet Le Kim and military writer Chu Phac.

Starting from Ha Noi, the pilgrims will go along National Highway No 6, which leads to the former resistance zone in the north-west. In fact, the road was used by Vietnamese military troops to reach Dien Bien Phu.

The group will stop in Hoa Binh tomorrow and in Son La on Sunday before heading to the final destination about 480km from the capital.

At both places, the artists will join locals at a special concert and art performance dedicated to the glorious victory of 60 years ago.

The concert will praise the Father of the Revolution, President Ho Chi Minh, and Commander-in-chief of the historical Dien Bien Phu campaign, General Vo Nguyen Giap.

Old songs to be presented by the artists include Ho Keo Phao (The Song of Canon Pulling), Truong Ca Song Lo (Lo River Epic), Tren Doi Him Lam (On the Him Lam Hill), Qua Mien Tay Bac (Through the Northwestern Region), Giai Phong Dien Bien (Liberate Dien Bien). Mua xoe, a typical dance of the Thai ethnic people living in Dien Bien, will also be staged.

Next Thursday (March 13), the group will arrive in Dien Bien, where they will join in the Hoa Ban Festival, an event dedicated to the rich culture of local region.

The Ha Noi visiting group will also meet up with Dien Bien Phu veterans.

The pilgrimage has been organised by the Viet Nam Union of Literature and Arts Association and the Viet Nam Association of Writers and the Viet Nam Association of Musicians.

According to deputy chairman of the literature union, Do Hong Quan, who is a composer of symphonies, this is the first time such a trip has been made.

The union will also host another cultural activity in Son La at the end of this month. Viet Nam's first opera, Co Sao (Ms Sao), featuring revolutionary music by celebrated composer Do Nhuan, will be staged in the northern mountain city on March 25-26.

The opera tells the story Lo Thi Sao, an ethnic Thai woman living in the northeast mountains. Sao, an orphan, suffered injustices at the hands of the ruling colonial powers and became a political activist.

Sao made considerable contributions to the fight for liberation after the historic August revolution in 1945, which led to Viet Nam's independence from France.

The opera was first staged in 1965 and revived in 1976. The most recent performance was in November, 2012.

The upcoming show will be performed by more than 100 musicians from the Viet Nam National Symphony Orchestra and the Viet Nam Theatre of Music, Dance and Song. — VNS

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