Friday, 09/11/2018 09:04

Tuồng star returns to stage for mini show

People’s Artist, theatre director and scriptwriter Dinh Bang Phi will treat theatre lovers in HCM City to traditional tuong at a mini show tonight. — VNS Photo Thanh Hiep
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — People’s Artist, theatre director and scriptwriter Dinh Bang Phi, a leading tuong or hat boi (classical drama) performer in the 1980s-90s, will stage a mini live show in HCM City on November 9 night.

The 81-year-old will perform traditional tunes with support from instrumentalists.

He will perform excerpts from tuong plays that had made him famous for more than five decades.

He will also talk about tuong history and its development during various periods, including its evolution from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century.

Phi began his career as a theatre scriptwriter in HCM City in 1959 at the National Music and Theatre School of Sai Gon.

In 1971, he became a professional tuong performer after setting up the Dinh Bang Phi Hat Boi Troupe by roping in talented artists like Kim Thanh, Xuan Quan and Ngoc Dung.

His troupe staged free performances at primary schools.

He was later invited to join the HCM City Hat Boi Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres, and became its deputy director in 1980.

His strong and melodic voice as well as commanding stage presence have helped Phi leave an indelible mark on the art.

He has written and directed more than 40 plays and performed in many cai luong (reformed opera) and tuong plays, videos and movies.

He won scores of prestigious awards at national traditional theatre festivals and contests.

Some of his books on tuong are used at art schools to teach students. 

The genre consists of singing, dancing and music, all of which are highly stylised and symbolic.

Common themes include fealty to kings and patriotic duty, which extend through the play’s structure, features, language, music, colour, struggles and the personality of the characters.

Performers wear costumes that sometimes weigh up to 10kg. They use their entire body to dance vigorously and sing powerfully to express characters’ emotions.

Phi’s show will begin at 8.30pm at the Tomb of Le Van Duyet, 1 Vu Tung Street, Binh Thanh District. — VNS

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