Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Đêm Hoa Lệ (Wonderful Night), a cultural programme that offers cải lương (reformed opera) and hát bội (classical drama) shows, will be staged every week at Chợ Lớn Theatre in HCM City’s District 5, known as Chinatown.
The event was organised by Sĩ Hoàng, one of the country’s first pioneers in fashion design, especially for áo dài (Vietnamese traditional long dress), and his partners.
The first show will feature two excerpts from the play San Hậu (The Reign) in tuồng, a Vietnamese traditional theatrical form originating in the 12th century.
San Hậu, which consists of singing and dancing with music, is highly stylised and filled with the art of symbolism.
The show also included five songs and dances of cải lương and hát bội, which highlight the culture and lifestyle of Sài Gòn in the 1950s and 60s.
More than 50 young and veteran performers, dancers and musicians, including People’s Artist and cải lương star Bạch Tuyết, were featured.
The artists performed in a collection of traditional clothes, including áo dài, made by designer Hoàng.
“We have received support from traditional artists, cultural researchers and local authorities to stage Đêm Hoa Lệ. We hope the programme will become a popular event for theatre lovers and visitors who love Vietnamese culture,” said Hoàng, who is trying to preserve traditional theatre.
Earning his reputation by putting a new twist on the áo dài over two decades ago, Hoàng is also a businessman. The talented designer said he was "still working to preserve Vietnamese culture."
Graduating from HCM City Fine Arts College, Hoàng has worked hard to develop his career. He decorated his first áo dài in 1989 when the country’s first beauty contest Miss Áo Dài was held in HCM City.
He painted flowers on áo dài worn by the competition’s winners. His designs impressed judges and audiences and the trend of painting on áo dài was born.
Hoàng has been involved in running a cultural park on 16,000 square metres of land in District 9 and the Áo Dài Museum in District 1.
The programme Đêm Hoa Lệ offers two shows on Saturday and Sunday night at 7pm at Chợ Lớn Theatre, 190 Hồng Bàng Street, District 5. Tickers are available at the theatre’s box office. — VNS