H’Mong ethnic culture featured on stage of Hanoi Opera House

Tuesday, 2018-08-21 09:34:47
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Costumes in ‘My’ play honour the arts of brocade and decorative patterns of the H’Mong people
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NDO – Featuring a rich blend of the H’Mong ethnic culture, the recent performance of the ‘My’ theatre play at Hanoi Opera House left a deep impression on the Hanoi audience as the artists brought traditional H’Mong musical instruments to the stage and used daily utensils as props for the screen production.

Inspired by ‘Vo Chong A Phu’ (A Phu Couple), a short story by writer To Hoai, the artists from the Viet Bac Theatre for Traditional Folk Music and Dance reinterpreted the literary work into the languages of singing and dancing. The 12-act play is choreographed, scripted and directed by Tuyet Minh.

Instead of reproducing the life tragedy of My, the main character of the short story, as in the original, the stage version highlights the unique culture of the H’mong ethnic community through a romantic love market, folk games, and the people’s daily activities, such as the making of corn wine, weaving, and fabric dyeing. The play also contributed a voice against out-dated customs, including wife robbery and drug use.

According to Tuyet Minh, from the beginning, she decided to feature live music for the stage instead of electronic music. Minh and her team spent days searching for H’Mong artisans and convinced them to provide instructions for the troupe members on how to play the traditional H’Mong musical instruments. It took the troupe five months to practice and play the instruments well in a harmony.

Four songs performed during the play are presented in an acapella style, leaving an emotional impression on the theatre goers.

In addition, ‘My’ is appreciated by the audience and arts critics thanks to the costume designs, with designer Hoang Tung paid great attention to honouring the arts of brocade and decorative patterns of the H’Mong people.

Thanks to their due investment, the play won two gold and three silver medals at the National Song and Dance Festival. It was named the Most Impressive Programme, and Tuyet Minh was awarded the Best Choreographer of the festival.

The play was made by order of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism at a total investment of VND3 billion, which was made with the aim to earn medals and was also designed as a cultural product for tourists to the Hanoi Oprea House.

The play has been adjusted and cut into a 30-minute performance to make it fit the tour’s schedule. Accordingly, the singing has been reduced while dancing and folk music are spotlighted on the stage. The troupe members are divided into two teams to keep the show’s continuity.

‘My’ is available at the Hanoi Opera House from Mid-August and there will be three shows a week in order to diversity high-quality arts products for visitors to the Hanoi Opera House.