|The show must go on: A performance of ca Hue on the grand stage at the show. — VNS Photo Phuoc Buu
THUA THIEN-HUE (VNS) — A grand show to honour ca Hue, a unique form of singing born in the locality, was the crowd favourite among the shows at the ongoing biennial Hue Festival in Hue City.
The show's amusing melodies on Wednesday night attracted thousands of locals and visitors to an illuminated stage in Nghinh Luong Pavilion, located on the riverbanks of the Huong (Perfume) River.
Songs of ca Hue were performed on a huge stage and supported by dancers from the Royal Art and Dance Theatre, a stark contrast to the more modest stages on which the art form usually takes place; on small stands or on floating stages.
Around 37 composers, musicians, vocals and researchers were also honoured for their devotion to the conservation of ca Hue at the show's intermission. However, some experts and ca Hue professionals questioned the selection of those honoured, saying some were not devotees of the music.
Ca Hue is said to bear similar significance to Vietnamese traditional music like don ca tai tu (Southern folk music) and ca tru (ceremonial singing) performed in the north.
This year's Hue Festival is the first time a separate show of ca Hue has been performed, with previous performances of the art form been incorporated into a number of existing performances.
The local department of culture, sports and tourism pledged they would file a petition for ca Hue to be recognised as part of the nation's cultural heritage, but some members of the public are doubtful about the application's success.
Ca Hue music, also known as "the Hue tune", is a variation of Hue royal court music. The music has lyrics with some being Hue folk songs. Many great ca Hue songs were composed by the feudal intellectuals who staged these performances in their homes.The artform has a history of nearly 500 years in the former royal capital city. — VNS