Dancers rehearse for Ballet Kiều which will be staged at the HCM City Opera House on June 20. — Photo courtesy of HBSO
HCM CITY — A ballet based on Truyện Kiều (The Tale of Kiều), the 18th century poetic masterpiece by the great poet Nguyễn Du, is expected to be staged at the HCM City Opera House this month.
The programme called Ballet Kiều is co-organised by the Việt Nam Dancers Association and the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO).
Veteran choreographer Tuyết Minh, a pioneer in popularising contemporary dance, is in charge of writing and directing the dance.
Minh said: “My work focuses on the fate of women in feudal society and their aspiration for love and happiness.”
Truyện Kiều recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thúy Kiều, a beautiful and talented young woman who sacrificed herself to save her father and younger brother from prison.
Kiều sold herself into marriage to a middle-aged man, unaware of his profession as a pimp. He later forced her into prostitution, marking the start of a series of tragic events in her life.
Minh is working with choreographer Nguyễn Phúc Hùng to create the choreography for Ballet Kiều.
Musicians Việt Anh and Chinh Ba are in charge of music for the show.
The performance will feature leading dancers like Meritorious Artists Hoàng Yến, Phi Điệp and Đức Nhuận, together with young dancers Kim Tuyền, Khang Ninh and Sùng A Lùng, and HBSO dancers.
Yến, who plays Kiều, said: “In Ballet Kiều, I can feel the beautiful love between Kiều and Kim Trọng, besides her endless pains. The character pushes my emotion to extremes.”
Yến portrayed Kiều in the contemporary dance Kiều’s Story created by South Korean choreographer Chun Yoo-Oh in 2018.
Chun’s work features Kiều in the past, present and future to highlight the fate of women in the past and in modern society.
Yến said the role of Kiều in Ballet Kiều would be different.
Minh, 39, said apart from techniques, dancers must feel and understand their characters, and their moves should transfer the Vietnamese cultural spirit.
Born to a traditional art family, Minh entered the Việt Nam Dance College at the age of 10.
She won second prize at the Việt Nam National Talent Dance Competition in 2001 and the top prize at the Young Choreographer Competition in 2007.
In 2005, Minh established the Khám Phá (Discovery) Dance Company which has staged famous Vietnamese and international works like Carmen, Quan Âm Thị Kính (Goddess of Mercy), and Thời Gian (Time).
In 2014, it presented dance performance Con Tạo Xoay (Spinning Top) in Hà Nội and HCM City, and Tình Yêu Hà Nội (Love for Hà Nội) in Hà Nội in 2015, receiving a warm welcome from audiences, especially young people.
The troupe's dance tour from Ha Noi to HCM City called S-Tour featured performances in different styles from contemporary to ballroom to hip hop in 2016.
In 2017, Minh introduced Úm Ba La, a contemporary show combining dance with circus acts.
“I have become attached to dance over the past 20 years,” Minh said, adding that it was time to bring historic Vietnamese characters to the ballet stage. “My ballets were a milestone in Vietnamese dance.”
Ballet Kiều will be presented on June 20 at the Opera House at 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1. Another show will take place in August in Hà Nội. — VNS