Artists from the HCM City Hát Bội Theatre have been working to preserve hát bội (classical drama), a unique genre of Vietnamese theatre originating in the central and southern regions in the 12th century. — Photo courtesy of the theatre
HCM CITY The HCM City Hát Bội Theatre will stage its new experimental play on historical events today.
The play, Sanh Vi Tướng, Tử Vi Thần (Patriots), highlights the patriotism, loyalty and bravery of Vietnamese farmers who fought invaders.
In the 60-minute play, directed by People’s Artist Trần Ngọc Giàu, artists will perform dance and music without singing.
More than 30 performers, including young talents Bảo Châu, Thanh Bình and Minh Khương, will be featured.
The artists have been studying dance from Meritorious Artist and choreographer Xuân Quan.
“This is our first time to stage hát bội (classical drama) with no singing. Our artists have worked hard to improve their skills in dancing and makeup to feature the play’s theme,” said the play’s choreographer Quan.
“New concepts in structure, conversation and directing style will be also used in the play. After the show, the audience will be invited to visit an exhibition on clothes and masks used in hát bội after the show,” he added.
Lê Diễn, director of the theatre, said that the play, if successful, will be sent as an entry in the 4th International Experimental Theatre Festival, which will be launched by the Việt Nam Theatre Artists’ Association in Hà Nội next month.
Hát bội is a unique genre of Vietnamese theatre originating in the central and southern regions in the 12th century.
It developed from a folk art to a royal art. It consists of singing and dancing to music. Its themes include monarchist loyalty and patriotic duty which define the play’s structure, features, language, music and colour as well as characters' struggles and personalities.
The art has been preserved through cultural and arts programmes launched by the theatre and its partners, including HCM City Theatre Artists’ Association.
The play Sanh Vi Tướng, Tử Vi Thần will open at 8pm on Friday at the Trần Hữu Trang Theatre, 136 Trần Hưng Đạo Street, District 1. It will be staged on September 29 and October 10. Tickets are available at the box office. VNS