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Theatre sought to promote heritage

Update: December, 22/2012 - 09:23

Bach Lien

HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi should set up a specific theatre for the country's cultural heritage where artists could perform traditional music including ca tru (ceremonial singing), in order to help preserve and promote the value of ca tru, said experts at a seminar held yesterday in the city.

The seminar was part of the two-day Ha Noi Ca Tru Singing Festival that took place at the Temple of Literature on Thursday and Friday to preserve ca tru and promote its precious values in the wake of its declining attractiveness in the audience. It has drawn the participation of ca tru researchers and representative of five ca tru clubs in the capital.

According to To Ngoc Thanh, chairman of the Association of Vietnamese Folklorists, one of the most pressing things to do now was to create a place for ca tru artists to perform this original art form that was recognised by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in October 2009.

Actually except from the Thang Long Ca tru Club who performs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 87 Ma May Street, four other ca tru clubs in the capital cannot perform very often when they can not find a fixed and free place in the centre of the capital.

"While foreign audiences often come to ca tru performances, not many Vietnamese people are interested in this art," said Le Thi Bach Van, creator and president of the Ha Noi ca tru club.

Ca tru singing appeared in the north as an entertainment activity around the 15th century and thrived until the early 20th century. Since then, has lost popularity to imports of modern music and other cultural activities.

War and modern culture have also caused ca tru to fade during the twentieth century. Although the artists have made great efforts to transmit their old repertoires to younger generations, ca tru is still under threat of being lost due to the diminishing number and age of practitioners.

According to Vietnamese-Australian Nguyen Le Tuyen, a fan of ca tru, in order to popularise the art, the ca tru clubs in the capital should be invited to perform in different schools in the city. — VNS

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