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Cần Thơ theatre targets young audiences to popularise traditional arts

Update: August, 16/2019 - 06:20


Artists from Cần Thơ's Tây Đô Theatre perform on stage. Photo courtesy of the theatre

CẦN THƠ — Tây Đô Theatre in Cần Thơ City plans to launch new free cải lương (reformed opera), hát bội and tuồng (classical drama) performances for young audiences as part of efforts to preserve the traditional arts.

The programme, Dạ Cổ Cầm Thi (Vietnamese Traditional Theatre), will feature more than 40 performers, including theatre and traditional music students at the University of Cần Thơ and Cần Thơ College of Culture & Arts.

They will perform folk songs and dances, and popular extracts from historical cải lương and hát bội plays.   

They will perform on two weekends a month.  

The highlight of each 70-minute show will be two extracts from historical plays by famous authors such as Đào Tấn and Trần Hữu Trang.

The performances will feature historic events and national heroes.

Audiences can meet and receive training in hát bội and cải lương make-up, singing and dancing from artists after the show.

“Young people know about pop music but have no knowledge of their traditional theatre and music,” Lê Văn Chải, director of Tây Đô Theatre, laments.

“Through our programme, we will help audiences learn about art and the country’s history, culture and lifestyle,” said.

Chải, one of the creators of the programme, said cải lương and hát bội are both unique genres of Vietnamese theatre originating in the 12th century, and “should be introduced in new versions to align with the tastes of youngsters.” 

Tây Đô Theatre, which opened in 2007, performs traditional music and theatre, often for free for people living in remote areas.

The first show of Dạ Cổ Cầm Thi will be staged at 8pm on August 31 at the theatre, 105 Trần Hưng Đạo Street, Ninh Kiều District. — VNS

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