National theatre premieres ballet based on legend

May 30, 2022 - 08:26

Ballet dancers from the Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will premier a full ballet that tells a tragic, legendary love story.


Leading dancers Thu Hằng and Phan Lương (behind) at the ballet rehearsal. Photos coutersy of VNOB

HÀ NỘI – Ballet dancers from the Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will premier a full ballet that tells a tragic, legendary love story.

The ballet, entitled Hàm Lệ Minh Châu, is the Mỵ Châu-Trọng Thủy love story from the reign of An Dương Vương, in the 3rd century BC.

Legend has it that Âu Lạc, as Việt Nam was known more than years ago, was a kingdom where peace reigned. The king built a new citadel and got a magic crossbow to protect his kingdom. Princess Mỵ Châu fell in love with Trọng Thủy, a son of Triệu Đà, the lord of a rival state that bordered Âu Lạc in the north, and the two wedded.

After the wedding, Trọng Thủy asked for the secret of the crossbow but Mỵ Châu declined at first. Eventually though, she revealed the secret and her kingdom was promptly attacked.

The king killed Mỵ Châu for her betrayal. In the end, the king who lost his country, and the prince who lost his wife, both committed suicide.

The ballet Hàm Lệ Minh Châu features the tragedy of the king’s daughter Mỵ Châu.  

“It is difficult to stage this love in a ballet,” said celebrated ballet choreographer Nguyễn Hồng Phong.

“A big challenge for us is to make an impression on the audience with a combination of western ballet and music and an orient story. We hope that the ballet will enthral the audience in the debut.”

The ballet will use impressionism music written by Claude Debussy. The four-part ballet is an alternation of past and present between the love story of a modern couple and Mỵ Châu-Trọng Thủy.


Leading dancers Phan Lương (left) and Thu Hằng, who play the two main roles in the ballet 'Hàm Lệ Minh Châu' set to open at Hà Nội Opera House on June 1. 

The ballet will star leading dancers Phan Lương and Thu Hằng who play the two main roles.

Lương is currently the principal dancer at the theatre. He graduated from the Việt Nam Dance School and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. 

He has performed leading roles in Vietnamese and foreign ballets such as Mối Tình Thành Cổ (Love in Citadel); Giselle, and Swan Lake. He participated in the Asian Dance Festival from 2012 to 2015 and was the only Vietnamese member of the Asian Dance Troupe in 2014. 

Hằng won gold medals at Indochina Art Festival 2014 and the 1st International Dance Festival in Huế City. At the VNOB, she has main roles in Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Giselle. 

Hàm Lệ Minh Châu will feature artists of the VNOB with videos to be shown on Led and Gauze screens in front and behind the actors.

The ballet will begin at 8pm on June 1 at Hà Nội Opera House. - VNS