A multicoloured picture of entertainment industry in 2016

Monday, 2017-01-02 06:18:39
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A traditional musical instrumentalist performs at one of Hanoi’s pedestrian areas around Hoan Kiem Lake.
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NDO – The entertainment industry in the year 2016 offered the masses a wide selection with an increasing number of cultural activities, arts programmes, and reality television shows, contributing to satisfying the increasing demand for entertainment of the Vietnamese and updating them on the world’s arts trends through performances of many world-renowned guest artists

Assorted out-door activities

This year witnessed the increase in both quality and quantity of outdoor community cultural events. Prominent among them were the Hanoi Ao Dai (traditional Vietnamese long dress) Festival, the Ho Chi Minh City Ao Dai Festival, Hue Festival and Hanoi Book Fair.

The first-ever Hanoi Ao Dai festival, featuring fashion shows of Ao Dai, a seminar on preserving and promoting the value of the national costume, a children's painting contest on Ao Dai, among others, attracted over 30,000 visitors during its three-day organisation. The ninth Hue Festival, coinciding with long Liberation Day-May Day holidays, entertained visitors with nearly 50 arts and entertainment activities. The 2016 Hanoi Book Fair in October at Thang Long Imperial Citadel attracted nearly 70 domestic and foreign publishers, who installed 170 booths at the event, introducing their latest publications.

The year 2016 also saw the greater care attached to cultural and entertainment spaces by local authorities in major cities across the country. Since early September, pedestrian space in the vicinity of Hoan Kiem Lake opened for public from 7 PM on Friday to midnight Sunday. Visitors to the space are offered a number of traditional arts programmes, such as chau van (spiritual singing), cheo (traditional opera), Quan Ho (love duet singing), and contemporary arts performances as well as folk games. The Hanoi authorities also piloted a new regulation allowing restaurants and bars in Hoan Kiem district to open until 2am on the last three days of each week instead of midnight as before September 1, in order the meet the increasing demand for entertainment of visitors and locals.

In Ho Chi Minh City, since it was inaugurated in January, Nguyen Van Binh Book Street has become a cultural rendezvous for booklovers while contributing to cultivating the reading habit in society. The book street also set a successful example for the December 19 Book street in Hanoi, which is scheduled to open in April this year.

Musical parties introduced a line-up of international artists

A series of high-quality arts feasts were organised in 2016, contributing to raising the public’s aesthetic reception ability. They included a series of arts programmes at Hanoi Opera House, which was launched in August by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. The project featured the ‘Autumn Symphony’ by Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, ‘Biet Doi Bao Den’ (Black Panther Squad) play by Vietnam National Drama Theatre, extracts from cheo (traditional opera) plays by Vietnam Cheo Theatre, and the ‘Dieu Con Mai’ (Forever) concert.

International festivals in 2016 attracted many international artists from around the world. The International Experimental Theatre Festival in Hanoi in November 12-19 introduced 39 plays put on by eight Vietnamese troupes and eight foreign troupes.

A line-up of more than 100 international singers, dancers and artists shared the stage with their Vietnamese colleagues to storm the capital city of Hanoi at the Moon Soon Festival 2016 on October 21-22. This year’s festival, to which legendary German rock band Scorpion was invited, provided an opportunity for Vietnamese music lovers to enjoy its diversity of musical styles.

Under the theme “Music – Convergence and Pervasion”, the second Asia-Europe Music Festival in October left good impressions with special concerts, symphonies, chamber music, chorus, opera, and ballet with the participation of nearly 200 artists and musicians from 30 countries and territories.

In addition, the 2016 SEA Pride music festival in June and the 2016 European Music Festival 2016 (EMF 2016) in November treated Vietnamese audiences to a musical party of Indie, Pop, Rock and EDM while showcasing the regions’ musical diversity.

Many world musical figures also chose Vietnam as a destination for their performances in 2016, including German rock band Scorpion, disco band Boney M, Thomas Anders of Modern Talking pop band, Chris Norman - former lead singer of the Smokie band, and the legendary Danish band Michael Learns to Rock.

The above programmes once again proved that the arts and music in particular has served as a friendly ambassador to link Vietnam and international friends as they created dialogues between different cultures and connected peoples from different countries.

The rise of reality television series and game shows

Reality television series and game shows saw an outbreak in number and dominated the entertainment sector in 2016. Touching upon almost aspects of daily life, the shows have become most favourite choice of a majority of TV viewers.

In the popular music genre, there are programmes such as The Voice, Vietnam Idol, and Sing My Song, while those who love slow-tempo music can tune into Solo with Bolero and Bolero Star. Such programmes as Strictly Come Dancing and So You Think You Can Dance can entertain dancing lovers, while those interested in fashion and beauty are offered Miss Vietnam, Vietnam Next Top Model, and The Face modelling contest.

However, the programmes faced the common shortcomings regarding aesthetic values as many organisers staged scandals, script leaks, and shocking statements in order to raise its competition and draw viewers’ curiosity, thus maximising their profits.

To sum up, the entertainment sector in 2016 was presented in a multicoloured picture, in which the bright colours were mostly featured, representing a number of innovations. Many policies and regulations have been issued, bringing about initial results in managing entertainment activities. In 2017, it is hoped the sector will arrange more cheerful cultural programmes, meeting the increasing demand of the masses.

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