Cai luong actress Thanh Hang,preserve cai luong
Australian-Vietnamese theatre actress Thanh Hang, a veteran of cai luong (reformed opera), will perform in a mini show in HCM City celebrating her 40-year-long career. (Photo courtesy of the artist) 

The show, Tài Danh Đất Việt - Đêm Tôn Vinh (Vietnamese artists of cai luong – Night of the Art), will feature famous songs and plays of cai luong in the 1970s and 80s in the south. 

She will stage extracts from the historical play Tiếng Trống Mê Linh (The Sounds of Me Linh Drum), a production about the true story of Trung Trac and Trung Nhi known as Hai Ba Trung, the sisters who led the fight for the country’s independence from the Han Dynasty in the first century. 

Hang will perform with cai luong stars Vu Luan and Thanh Ngan, who have played a role in the 100-year-old development of the art form. 

"I hope my show will help fans, particularly youth, understand why and how cai luong is the spirit of Vietnamese people," said Hang, who returned to live in HCM City in 2016 after 15 years away from home. 

Cai luong actress Thanh Hang,preserve cai luong
Veteran actress Thanh Hang (left) has worked to preserve cai luong. (Photo courtesy of the HCM City Theatre Artists' Association)

Born in 1959 to a traditional family in Tien Giang Province, Hang began her love for cai luong through her parents, talented performers Huong Huyen and Kim Hoa. 

She worked for the Thanh Minh -Thanh Nga Troupe, one of the regon’s leading cai luong theatres. 

 

She played leading roles in famous plays, such as Xuân Thăng Long (Spring in Thang Long Citadel) in 1982, Truyền Thuyết Tình Yêu (Legent of the Love) in 1991 and Duyên Kiếp (Love of Fate) in 1997. 

She won seven top prizes at national traditional theatre contests and festivals launched by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Vietnam Theatre Association. 

In the 1990s, Hang decided to challenge herself as a movie actress and performed in 13 films. All of her roles feature the culture and lifestyle of southern women. 

Hang has performed in 30 cai luong plays and dozens of TV shows, and has worked to expand cai luong to fans. 

“My love for cai luong keeps my mind, body and soul healthy,” said Hang, who said she found it difficult to perform cai luong in Australia.

Hang’s show, Tài Danh Đất Việt-Đêm Tôn Vinh, will begin at 8pm at the We, 8 Le Quy Don Street, District 3, on April 4. VNS

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