Introducing Vietnamese Folk Dance to the World
Newly inaugurated Asia Folk Arts Theatre (Nha Trang) deeply impressed the art world and the business community because it created a strong shift in investment socialisation trends in cultural and artistic fields. This is considered a bright spot of the cultural and tourism sector of Nha Trang City in particular and of Vietnam in general.
Mr. Le Xuan Thom, enthralled with Russian culture, always looked to come back to Vietnam to compose Vietnamese and Russian folk cultural works. Returning Vietnam after 20 years living abroad, Thom - the owner of the Asia Folk Arts Theatre, said: “Folk arts entered my heart and my mind from childhood lullabies sung by my mother and grandmother. When I lived abroad, my nostalgia always inspired me to build an international standard theatre to perform true folk arts - an act seemed to help attract foreign tourists on the one hand and on the other introduce unique national cultures and arts to friends far and wide.
After the survey, Nha Trang was chosen because this is the best maritime tourist destination in Vietnam where there are a lot of foreign tourists, particularly Russians and Chinese.
Nha Trang Dream was built in just three months. Professional dance directors from Hong Kong were invited to compose, stage and train actors and artists recruited from all arts centres in the country. The 500-seat theatre is equipped with modern sound and lighting systems of international standards to serve Vietnamese folk dances imbued with the cultural identity of 54 ethnic groups in Vietnam.
Mr Hoang Minh Tam, Director of Nha Trang Dream Theatre, said, “First repertoires featured distinctive cultures of ethnic groups in Vietnam such as monochord, zither, nhi (two-stringed musical instrument), lithophone, flute and t'rung (traditional bamboo xylophone), Northwest dances, Red River Delta dances, Hue imperial dances and Cham dances.”
Audience will have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of dances elaborately staged by international choreographers supported by beautiful graphic arts like imperial fashion shows themed “Charming Vietnam”; dances themed “Vietnam soul”, “Lotus - National flower of Vietnam”, “Water puppetry”, “Hat dance - Lovely Hue”, “Cham dance - Faith of ancient towers”, “Drum dance” and “Umbrella - Spring dance”; flute solos - “Missing the South”, “Path to victory” and “Whipping the Horse” performed by artist Hoang Anh - professor at the Vietnam National Academy of Music; monochord solos “National rhythm”, “For the South”, “Countryside bridge” performed by artist Hoang Tu (Thang Long Theatre, Hanoi); moon lute solos - “New day in the countryside” by artist Viet Hong (folk orchestra, Asian ethnicity); zither solos - "Spring comes” and “Country in the spring time” by meritorious artist Mai Nga - lecturer at Hue Academy of Music; erhu solos - “Harvesting day storytelling” by artist Tran Xam from the Vietnam National Academy of Music.
In the coming time, Nha Trang Dream will continue to invite top-notch directors and choreographers to stage folklore dances known to ethnic groups in northern mountainous areas, northern plains and Central Highlands to introduce unique cultures of Vietnam to audience. The theatre will focus on playing cultural works of ethnic groups along the Truong Son Mountain Range, the Central Highlands and offshore islands to disseminate and assert the territorial sovereignty of the nation. This will be an incubator of artistic talent for children.
Arts is the most effective communication channel to connect the peoples and nations together and the theatre will be a convergence of what is the most elite in performing arts of Vietnamese culture. Hopefully, Nha Trang Dream will become a leading light and a common venue for dancers to introduce Vietnamese culture and history to the world.