|A preview of the celebrations for the Dien Bien Phu Victory. A 2,500-strong contingent of army, police and civil defence force officers and artists will participate in a parade tomorrow. — Photo courtesy of Zing.vn
DIEN BIEN (VNS) — A spectacular performance involving more than 1,000 artists will kick start a series of events celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu Victory (May 7 1954) tonight.
Known as the highlight of the celebration, the art performance Dien Bien Phu – The Everlasting Epic promises a unique and impressive portrayal of the global event. Commencing at 8pm, the two-hour show will take place at the May 7 Square in Dien Bien Phu City.
The performance comprises two sections. The first chapter Dien Bien Phu – The Everlasting Epic reenacts the resistance war against the French colonists, with the victory as the climax. The second, Dien Bien Memory – A Bright Future and Dien Bien – The Love of Land and People, depicts the steady development of the area. The section also features reporting and interviews with generals and artists who joined the campaign in addition to Dien Bien Phu themed songs from the past 60 years.
According to the general director, People's Artist Le Ngoc Cuong, audiences will be fully immersed in the performance, with the entire space surrounding the stage to be used for the reenactment of the campaign.
"Of note, the stage is open, encouraging the audience to act as witnesses, to reminisce and relive the most important time of this historical event," said Cuong, who directed the 40th and 50th anniversary celebrations of the victory.
"It's not a stage as commonly seen. A raised stage has been set up in the middle of Dien Bien Square like a huge hill, covering an area of more than 2,000sq.m.
"Depending on the developments of the programme, the stage will turn out to be Hill A1 – where the fiercest battle of the campaign took place - or the bunker of General De Castries, or mountain slopes where soldiers and civil labourers carried weapons.
"This is a story about war told through the language of art, creating an imposing and epic atmosphere to illustrate the nation's great resistance war.
"Also, the programme re-establishes the images of General Vo Nguyen Giap, the Commander-in-Chief of the campaign, the tugging of cannons into the Dien Bien hollow, and images of heroes whose names will forever be connected to the land, such as Be Van Dan [who used his body as a gun rack], Phan Dinh Giot [who used his body to cover a loop-hole] and To Vinh Dien, [who used his body to choke a cannon]," Cuong said.
Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, head of the organising board of the anniversary celebrations of the victory, was present yesterday in Dien Bien Phu City to preview the celebrations kicking off tomorrow.
Dam and organising board members attended a preview of a ceremony to pay respect to heroic martyrs at Martyrs' Cemetery on A1 Hill, the resting place of the 644 soldiers who died during the campaign.
A strong contingent of army, police and civil defence force officers and artists will make up nearly 2,500 people who will participate in the procession. Hundreds of other people are also set to take part.
Speaking later during a meeting on preparations for the official ceremony tomorrow, the Deputy PM said he applauded the efforts of the army and civil forces and artists for their efforts on the event.
"Procession attendants of the intellectuals are too young, which can't represent the specific characteristics of this important contingent of the society. So it's necessary to supplement the procession with representatives of the war veterans of the Dien Bien Phu campaign," the Deputy PM said. — VNS