|Sèn Hoàng Mỹ Lam performs the song Nếp Nương (Ripen Rice). Photo courtesy of the theatre|
HÀ NỘI — The Theatre of Việt Nam Music, Dance and Song has launched the annual art performance series Màu Thời Gian (Colours of Time) featuring various themes of 2022.
The first show of the series, Ngọn Chung Linh (The Flame of Desire), took place on Thursday night at Âu Cơ Theatre, Hà Nội.
The show introduced 15 songs adapted from the poems written by professor-academician-painter Ngô Xuân Bính. The music was written by famous composers such as Nguyễn Cường, Trần Tiến, Quang Vinh, Đức Trịnh and Tuấn Phương.
The show starred many emerging singers like Sèn Hoàng Mỹ Lam, Hoàng Quyên and Ploong Thiết.
It was divided into four chapters – Cánh Đồng Tiềm Thức (Field of Awareness), Chợ Quê (Rural Market), Cánh Đồng Tri Ân (Field of Gratitude), and Khát Vọng (Desire).
All songs are about patriotism, national pride, a spirit to protect and build up the country and the love for the fatherland.
Composer Đức Trịnh, chairman of the Việt Nam Musicians’ Association, said Bính’s poems have made him see that life is colourful and the motherland is always the warmest place to return.
“Wherever we are, whatever we do, every time the New Year comes, we suddenly feel nostalgic, remembering the images of our loved ones and looking forward to returning to pay tribute,” said Trịnh.
The composer said Bính’s poems are rhythmic, musical and full of folk melodies.
“Reading his poems, I can feel melodies of folk songs in all three regions of the country, like ca trù (ceremonial singing),” he added.
Bính said: "Vietnamese people’s history has gone through thousands of years of building and defending the country. We have overcome many ups and downs thanks to the spirit and the strength of the whole nation.”
He called that spirit Ngọn Chung Linh (The Flame of Desire). It’s an abstract term symbolising the human desire to rise up and the national spirit. The art performance therefore aimed to enhance the national identity and aspirations and introduce typical works to the audience, thereby promoting the image of the country and Vietnamese people.
This concert continues Bính's artistic point of view in art. He said that it takes humanity thousands of years to form an ego or national identity, but it only takes a few decades, even just a few years, for people to erase the chain of cultural ties typical of a region or a nation such as craft villages, customs, architecture, farming methods, and religion. Therefore, he always takes tradition as the source of his works.
“No matter how high the kite flies, it is still attached to the string. I can let my creativity and imagination go as far as I can, but I will never be separated from the soul of the nation,” said Bính.
Nguyễn Hải Linh, director of the Theatre of Việt Nam Music, Dance and Song, said Bính’s music is suitable to the concept of Colours of Time music series, which explains why he chose Bính to start the series and start the art programmes of the theatre in 2023.
“With elaborate and massive preparation in terms of content, sound, light, and stage effects, each work highlights the spirit and aspirations of the nation passed down from generation to generation. That aspiration is built from the memories associated with the homeland, the country, the origin of the nation,” said Linh.
He revealed that the show will be broadcast on platforms of the theatre in the near future.
Bính was born in 1957 in the central province of Nghệ An and lived in Russia for over 10 years. He is also known as the creator of the Nhất Nam martial arts school and a practitioner of Vietnamese traditional medicine.
In recent years, he has become one of the country’s most well-known artists, with exhibitions in Minsk and Moscow. He also received many international art awards. He is one of two foreign people given the title of Honourary Member by the Russian Academy of Arts.
He has organised two exhibitions of paintings and sculptures at Hà Nội Museum. He’s talented in various fields such as medicine, martial arts, fine arts and literature. — VNS