More than 30 dancers perform a wide variety of ethnic Chăm ritual and cultural activities in the water show Huyền Thoại Làng Chài (The Legend of the Fishing Village). Photo courtesy of the theatre
By Thu Anh
The history, traditional culture and lifestyle of Bình Thuận Province are highlighted in a water show staged by young artists from the Fishermen Show Theatre in Phan Thiết City.
The show, Huyền Thoại Làng Chài (The Legend of the Fishing Village), features more than 30 dancers, mostly graduates from the HCM City Dance School.
Dressed in traditional Chăm clothes, the singers and dancers perform a wide variety of ethnic Chăm ritual, religious and cultural activities.
The show features the Katê Festival, one of the 15 largest festivals in Việt Nam, which is celebrated annually for three days in the seventh lunar month by the Chăm. It gives thanks for the year's harvests.
The Katê Festival is an opportunity for villagers to show their gratitude to kings, mandarins and ancestors.
“We hope that Vietnamese and foreign audiences can learn about our traditional arts and discover Bình Thuận’s culture, and the daily life of the local people,” said Trần Ngọc Dũng, founder of the Fishermen Show Theatre.
Dũng, a graduate of the HCM City University of Economy and the University of Paris 1- Sorbonne, began his career in Phan Thiết, his homeland, in 2015.
He and his partners paid for and built the Fishermen Show Theatre on a 1.3 hectare plot of land in Phan Thiết’s Phú Hải District.
He invited choreographer Trần Ly Ly of HCM City, who studied in France and Australia, to train the theatre’s dancers and choreograph the dances.
“Bình Thuận attracts 5 million visitors per year who mostly enjoy the beautiful beaches and landscapes,” Dũng told local media after his theatre’s first show in 2017.
“We have a very rich culture and traditional arts from many ethnic minority groups, but not many visitors know about that," he said. “We've worked hard to make a water show with dance, sounds and lights. We hope visitors can learn about and love our culture."
The coastal central province of Bình Thuận’s history, traditional culture and lifestyle is highlighted in the water show, Huyền Thoại Làng Chài (The Legend of Fishing Village) staged by young artists from the Fishermen Show Theatre in Phan Thiết City. Photo courtesy of the producer
The Fishermen Show Theatre has 1,200 seats and offers five Huyền Thoại Làng Chài shows every week. Each show attracts around 500 viewers.
The 60-minute show features traditional dances created by local villagers several hundred years ago.
The show’s performances also feature the Nginh Ông Festival, which gives gratitude to the whale and prays for good weather and bumper catches.
"Huyền Thoại Làng Chài is an extravagant show. I was happy to see foreigners learn about Việt Nam’s history and culture through the traditional dances,” Phan Hoàng Thu Anh, a ninth-grade student from the Việt Nam-Australia International School in HCM City, said.
Anh and her friends first watched the show during their three-day school trip in Phan Thiết last year.
This summer, Anh asked her parents to take her to the show again.
“Our family had a wonderful night,” said Anh, adding that her parents told her that Huyền Thoại Làng Chài was similar to the famous Siam Niramit show in Bangkok.
“I hope more shows like Huyền Thoại Làng Chài will be staged in tourist cities such as Hà Nội, HCM City and Đà Nẵng. I believe offering quality traditional art shows is one of the ways to attract foreign visitors,” she said.
Huyền Thoại Làng Chài is staged at 8pm from Wednesday to Sunday at 360 Nguyễn Thông Street, Phú Hải District in Phan Thiết City.
Tickets from VNĐ200,000 (US$8) to 500,000 ($16) are available at the theatre’s box office, on Facebook and on websites offering tourist services. VNS