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Cheo performances held every Saturday night in Hanoi

Released at: 10:49, 01/06/2017

Cheo performances held every Saturday night in Hanoi

A scene in Quan Am Thi Kinh (Goddess of Mercy). Photo: The Thao & Van Hoa

Traditional folk theater to host performances every Saturday, starting on June 3.

by Le Diem

A new program of Cheo traditional folk theatre called Hanoi Dem Thu Bay (Hanoi’s Saturday Night) will be performed on every Saturday night starting from this week, June 3, at the Dai Nam Theater in Hanoi. The program aims to attract local people and tourists to the country’s traditional art.

The weekly program will feature Cheo performances (both ancient and modern Cheo) as well as comedy and performances of Chau Van (ritual songs). Audience members will also have the chance to meet with the Cheo artists and have fun in games and lucky draws.

The list of performances for the first three months has been prepared, including the most well-known Cheo works, such as Quan Am Thi Kinh (Goddess of Mercy), Ngoc Han Cong Chua (Princess Ngoc Han), and Nang Sita (Sita). Participating artists include famous names such as Thuy Mui, Quoc Anh, and Duc Thuan.

Every month, there will also be a performance featuring 12 acts of trance to introduce the practice of Mother Goddess worship, which was recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last year.

“Not only Cheo but other stage arts face difficulties in staging shows and attracting an audience in modern times,” said Ms. Thuy Mui, Cheo performer and also Director of the Hanoi Cheo Theatre, the organizer of the new program. “But we are still confident, as we have a Cheo theater right in the heart of the capital and three teams of artists with diverse performances. We will intensify the promotion and marketing of the concerts, which is not just Cheo but also other forms of theater.”

Ms. Mui also said the leadership board and theater artists have been preparing for the program since early this year. Artists have been rehearsing and are eager to bring Cheo to audiences, with ticket prices offered to three groups of audience members and are as low as possible to make it affordable for Cheo lovers.

Cheo, which originated in the 12th century in the northern delta region, used to be a popular form of theater in Vietnam and has its roots in traditional village festivals. The plays typically consist of folk songs with pantomime, instrumental music, and dance, combined with instructive or interpretative sketches based on stories from legends, poetry, history, and even daily life.

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