A photo capturing a male artist of tuồng, a traditional genre of Vietnamese theatre which began in the 17th century. (photo courtesy of the theatre), among dozens of photos art displayed at an outdoor exhibition on HCM City’s Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street. — Photo courtesy of the organisers.
HCM CITY — A photo exhibition featuring tuồng or hát bội (classical drama), a Vietnamese traditional theatre originating in the 12th century, has opened on HCM City’s Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street in District 1.
The event displays dozens of colour photos of tuồng performers on stage.
Highlighted works feature veteran artists from the HCM City Hát Bội Theatre, such as Meritorious Artist Hiền Linh, Mỹ Hằng and Tấn Lộc, who perform in famous historical plays Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga (Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga) and Trần Bình Trọng Tuẫn Tiết (National Hero Trần Bình Trọng).
“All of the photos are beautiful and lively,” said Meritorious Artist Linh, who has 12 years of experience in theatre.
“Visitors can see tuồng performers in costumes sometimes weighing up to 10 kilos using their body to move on stage. They can learn more about the art and how it is still developed after decades.”
“We hope it will enhance visitors' love and knowledge about the art,” he said.
Linh and his colleagues at HCM City Hát Bội Theatre performed excerpts from Thái Hậu Dương Vân Nga, a production about the life of Queen Mother Dương Vân Nga who served as Queen of Đinh and Lê dynasties between 970 and 1000, during the event’s opening ceremony at Nguyễn Huệ Pedestrian Street on last Wednesday.
Their strong voices and dancing left a strong impression on audiences.
Tuồng developed from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century. Its performers wear heavy costumes sometimes weighing up to 10 kilos. — Photo courtesy of organisers
Tuồng developed from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century. Along with traditional arts such as chèo (traditional opera) in the north and cải lương (reformed opera) in the south, tuồng has contributed to the Vietnamese spirit.
The art, which consists of singing and dancing accompanied by music, is highly stylised and filled with symbolism. The performers use their entire body, from the fingers and elbows to all of the muscles, to perform movements on stage.
The exhibition, organised by the HCM City Centre for Music and Singing, will run through October. — VNS