HCM City history museum launches tuong performances
A new art programme offering tuong or hat boi (classical drama) has just been launched at the HCM City Museum of History as part of the museum’s efforts to introduce Vietnamese culture and theatre to visitors.
|Tuong was 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 the theatre|
The programme offers excerpts from famous historical plays, such as Trần Bình Trọng Tuẫn Tiết (National Hero Tran Binh Trong), Hồ Nguyệt Cô Hoá Cáo (Nguyet Co Turning into a Fox) and San Hậu (The Reign). The shows will be staged by talented artists of the city’s Hát Bội Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres.
Talks about tuong's history and development during various periods will also be included.
Dozens of musical instruments and costumes used in tuong will be exhibited after every show.
“Our programme aims to honour tuong and its artists who have used their art to keep traditional Vietnamese theatre alive,” said Le Dien, director of the theatre.
“We also hope the museum’s visitors will learn about the country’s history, culture and lifestyle through our performances.”
Vien’s theatre previously launched a free programme called Giới Thiệu Nghệ Thuật Tuồng (Introducing Tuong) on Bui Vien Walking Street in District 1 to introduce the art to foreign visitors. The event was staged twice a month on weekends and featured young performers trained by People’s Artist Dinh Bang Phi, who has more than 45 years of experience.
Tuong developed from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century. Its themes include monarchist loyalty and patriotism which help define the play’s structure, language, music, struggles, and characters' personalities.
The art, which consists of singing and dancing accompanied by music, is highly stylised and filled with symbolism. Performers wear heavy costumes sometimes weighing up to 10 kilos.
They use their body, from the fingers and elbows to all of the muscles, to perform movements on stage. They must have a strong voice to sing and dance at the same time and express the emotions of each character.
The HCM City Museum of History was built by the French colonialists in 1929. It is located on 3,000 square metres and displays more than 40,000 artefacts. It has organised cultural activities and art shows to introduce Vietnamese history and culture.
The programme will be staged every weekend morning from July 19 till the end of August at the museum at 2 Nguyen Binh Khiem Street in District 1. VNS
Traditional art theatres in HCM City are facing a shortage of artists and musicians, which has made it tough for the members of each theatre to keep up with their performance schedules.
Huynh Long Tuong (classical drama), a newly opened private art troupe in HCM City, will offer a series of new shows featuring young artists next week.