Monday, 23/01/2023 11:23

Tuồng shows aimed at visitors in Bình Định Province

LONG HISTORY: The State-owned Bình Định Traditional Theatre celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. It has 70 performers and music players. Photo courtesy of Bình Định Traditional Theatre

BÌNH ĐỊNH — The city of Quy Nhơn of Bình Định Province is offering new shows and performances of tuồng (classical drama) for visitors as part of its long-term project to preserve the traditional theatre. 

The shows are staged by talented artists from leading troupes of Bình Định, including the State-owned Bình Định Traditional Theatre. 

Highlighted shows include extracts from famous plays such as, Ông Già Cõng Vợ Trẻ Đi Xem Hội (The old man carries his young wife to see the festival), Hồ Nguyệt Cô Hóa Cáo (Hồ Nguyệt Cô turned into a fox) and Ôn Đình Chém Tá (Ôn Đình beheaded Tá). 

The artists also talk about the history of tuồng, which consists of singing, dancing and music, and its development during various periods, including its evolution from a folk art into a royal art in the 17th century. 

KEEPING IT GOING - Tuồng performers from the Bình Định Tuồng Theatre work hard to keep traditional theatre alive. Photo courtesy of Bình Định Traditional Theatre.

Performances of bài chòi (folk singing), an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the UNESCO in 2017, are also included. 

Bài chòi originated almost 400 years ago under the reign of the Nguyễn Lords (1558-1777). The art entertained the community during the post-harvest time.

It literally means a deck of cards (bài) and bamboo huts (chòi), and is half game and half theatre performance. 

The art combines music, poetry, acting, painting and literature. 

TRADITIONAL ART - The city of Quy Nhơn of Bình Định Province is working on a long-term project aimed to introduce and expose visitors to tuồng, a traditional genre of Vietnamese theatre that began in the 17th century. Photo courtesy of Bình Định Traditional Theatre

“We are working to integrate performances of tuồng with other cultural activities, festivals and concerts in order to create opportunities for the artists to expand their art,” said Trần Văn Thanh, director of the province’s Department of Tourism. “Our project started last year and targets visitors. We hope to attract and provide vistors with quality traditional art shows.”

Bình Định attracted 4.2 million visitors last year. The province is making every effort to turn tourism into a spearhead economic sector by 2025.

One of the province’s leading art troupes, Bình Định Traditional Theatre, celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. The theatre has 70 performers and music players. 

Tuồng and bài chòi are the spirit of Vietnamese people in the central and south regions. I hope young artists will keep the arts alive,” said theatre director Văn Bá Dũng.

Dũng’s theatre has co-operated with the HCM City Tuồng Theatre to expand their art. Artists from both theatres have worked together to perform, record, shoot and release their performances online.

Shows by Bình Định Traditional Theatre are staged at Nguyễn Tất Thành Boulevard in Quy Nhơn. — VNS

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