vietnam book,folk arts
Gánh Hát Lưu Diễn Muôn Phương (Touring Theatre), a bilingual art book featuring 36 Vietnamese folk music, theatrical performing arts and traditional festivals. File photo from facebook.com/ganhhatluudien

Gánh Hát Lưu Diễn Muôn Phương (Touring Theatre) was created by Thao Ho and illustrated by Tan Nguyen. It was translated into English by Ngo My Trieu Giang.

The 200-page book will introduce music genres from different regions of the country, such as hát xẩm (blind busker's singing) of the North, nhã nhạc cung đình (royal ceremonial music) of Huế, and đờn ca tài tử (tai tu music) of the South.

It will present theatrical performing arts like chèo (traditional Vietnamese opera), and dù kê, a unique style of musical theatre created by the Khmer in southern Vietnam.

Dù kê originated in Tra Vinh in 1920 from local farmers who loved to sing. The art is a product of the creativity of the Khmer.

The group invited cải lương (reformed opera) artist Bach Long to give advice on folk arts in the South.

Long began his love affair with cải lương when he was 12 years old. He was trained by his father, the late People's Artist Thanh Ton, and other talented actors like Minh To and Thanh Tong. He won two gold medals for Best Actor at the National Cai Luong Festival in 1982 and 1987.

The book will feature traditional festivals like Saint Giong Festival in Phu Dong Village in Hanoi's Gia Lam District, and Ok Om Bok, one of the annual major traditional festivals of Khmer people in southern provinces.

The Saint Giong festival is a traditional event in north Vietnam, held annually from the 6th-12th of the fourth lunar month with a series of processions, rituals and performances.

 

It commemorates the legendary national hero who grew overnight from a three-year-old boy into a giant to help rid the country of foreign invaders.

Ok Om Bok, also called the Festival of Worshiping the Moon, takes place under the full moon in the 10th lunar month annually. The Khmer believe the moon is a god who controls the weather and crops throughout the year.

Thao, the book’s creator, said she was born in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Vinh Long, so cải lương and đờn ca tài tử became part of her childhood. When growing up, she travelled across Vietnam and learned about folk arts and traditional festivals.

“I had an idea of developing an art book to introduce my interesting discoveries about Vietnamese folk arts to readers. In 2019, I met Tan Nguyen and we made our dream come true,” Thao said.

The book is expected to be released in January by Vietnamese comic company Comicola.

It will have two versions, including limited editions numbered 1-500 priced at VND200,000 (US$8.77), and another one at VND129,000.

It is available for pre-order at https://go.comico.la/ganhhat.

Source: Vietnam News

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