The Immortal Epic ballet brings to mind memories of martyrs

New heights: The ballet Con Mai Ban Hung Ca (The Immortal Epic) will be staged tomorrow. — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will stage its first performance of the ballet Con Mai Ban Hung Ca (The Immortal Epic) at the city's Opera House on tomorrow. The ballet, which is part of the monthly Young Melody programme launched by the HBSO in 2011, offers youth a deeper understanding of academic art. "Long after the end of the war, immortal songs about the indomitable spirit and the pure love of the people who sacrificed for national liberation still remain," a press release from HBSO said. "These immortal songs will touch the sacred memory of each person and help them become strong, kind and confident," the release said. Choreographed by People's Artist Kim Quy, Nguyen Phuc Hung and Nguyen Phuc Hai, the ballet's music was composed by Tran Vuong Thach. People's Artist Vu Viet Cuong wrote the story. The ballet was created by the city's Performing Arts Department. Cuong and Quy, who are married, have contributed a great deal over the … [Read more...]

Artists propose ways to enliven Ho Chi Minh City pedestrian street

A group of freestyle dancers are seen performing on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, drawing a large crowd of spectators. Photo:

Vietnamese cultural authorities and artists have suggested different ways to make Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street in downtown Ho Chi Minh City teem with life. After opening in late April, the street in District 1 has gradually become a favorite hang-out among city-dwellers, particularly youngsters, and tourists. By daytime, the zone is frequented by strollers and morning exercisers, and also makes a nice setting for bridal and artistic photo and filming shoots. As night falls, the place is packed with groups of youngsters who rehearse and perform street arts and play sports such as freestyle dance and skating, mostly on a spontaneous basis, and their expectant spectators. Tuoi Tre People from different walks of life also gather for night dancing sessions. However, the street remains in its infancy, while plans to stage a wide array of cultural and artistic activities in the area are still on the drawing board. Phan Nguyen Nhu Khue, director of the Ho Chi Minh City … [Read more...]

Restoring famous Vietnamese paintings

Oil on canvas painting "Mother and child"

(VOVworld)- Among the sands of art works on display at the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, many are seriously damaged and need to be restored. The oil on canvas paintings "Mother and Child" by Le Thi Kim Bach and "Rice Wine" by Ka Kha Sam were recently successfully restored. The two paintings "Mother and Child" by Le Thi Kim Bach and "Rice Wine" by Ka Kha Sam had become cracked and peeling from the weather. Because they created using different techniques, different methods and materials were used to restore them. Workshops involving Vietnamese and German experts were held to discuss ways to restore these two paintings and others, part of a collaboration between the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum and Germany’s Dresden Fine Arts University. Tran Dung Tien, Director of the Center for Restoration and Preservation of Art Works of the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, says the number of restored works remains modest and is dependent on support from foreign experts: "Without these workshops and … [Read more...]

Man City friendly in Vietnam to air live on national channel


English Premier League squad Manchester City will play a friendly match with the Vietnamese national team at 8:00 pm on Monday in Hanoi, and the game will be broadcast live on the national broadcaster’s VTV6 channel. Many famous players of the club arrived in Vietnam on Saturday and had a training session at My Dinh National Stadium in the capital on Sunday. They include defenders Aleksandar Kolarov, Bacary Sagna, Eliaquim Mangala and Gael Clichy; midfielders Fernando, Jesus Navas, Marcos Lopes, Raheem Sterling and David Silva; striker Edin Dzeko; and keeper Joe Hart. Around 3,000 fans came to watch them train on the pitch. The fans were presented with many small balls kicked into the stands by The Citizens at the end of their training session. The players also gave signatures and posed for pictures with the Vietnamese fans. With the match to take place tonight, ticket prices have fallen by a half on the black market. Tickets priced VND1 million (US$46) were … [Read more...]

Investors turn away as gold loses its sheen

Compiled by Thien Ly Do not tough gold" is advice that many experts are giving Vietnamese investors amid a relentless fall in the prices of the metal both here and globally. July 16 was an unusual day for gold prices as they changed 50 times on jewellers' electronic signboards and ended up nearly VND1 million ($45.7) lower. A tael, or 37.5 grammes, of State-owned SJC's gold closed at VND33 million (US$1.511.3), though international prices fell by only VND100,000 per tael. Analysts said that this precipitous drop was also a rare phenomenon in Viet Nam. But there was little increase in buying. Usually, considering gold is one of the most popular and stable asset classes in Viet Nam, demand for it has an inverse relationship with prices. But this time, though prices fell off the cliff, buying accounted for only 30 per cent of gold shops' transactions. Analysts have attributed the sharp drop in the prices of the precious metal to several reasons, but say the main cause is the US's … [Read more...]

Thousands of artists to join a parade in celebration of National Day

(Photo for illustration.

PANO - About 2,500 artists will take part in a parade, themed "Vietnam – Aspiration for Peace", on September 2nd on Hung Vuong Street, as part of activities to mark the 70th anniversary of the August Revolution and National Day. Accordingly, artists of Vietnam’s music genres, which were recognized intangible cultural heritages by UNESCO, such as Central Highland Gongs, Xoan signing (folk music of Phu Tho province), Vi-giam singing (folk music of Nghe An province), love duets (folk music of Bac Ninh province), ceremonial songs, "don ca tai tu" singing (amateur singing), and "nha nhac" (royal court music), will take part in the event. The program, directed by People’s Artists Tran Binh and Nguyen Minh Thong, aims to honour Vietnam’s cultural achievements over the past years. Translated by Son Ca … [Read more...]

Artist gets more creative with caricature

Lampooned: The caricature sculpture titled Bao Hiem Mu Bao Hiem Troi Noi (Insuring Unapproved Helmets) mocks the recklessness of drivers. — Photos courtesy of Trinh Lap

by Luong Thu Huong On receiving an order from a newspaper office, Trinh Lap first makes himself a cup of coffee, and then sips it as he creates yet another cartoon. Cartoon has long been an indispensable part of life for the artist, who mainly focuses on oil paintings and portraits. "It is the moment which I really enjoy. At first, I drew cartoons just for fun, but gradually realised that it had become my passion, even my daily mission, when I began working with more newspapers as their illustrator," he says. Born in 1946 in Ha Noi, Lap became passionate about painting when he was very young, although his parents did not work in the field of art. He had his first work published in a newspaper in 1963, when he was 17 years old. It was his passion for art that encouraged him to study at the Ha Noi College of Industrial Fine Arts from 1978 to 1982 while working in an electro-mechanical company. The turning point in Lap's art career came when he got an opportunity to study in Germany … [Read more...]

The Quan Ho Love Duet Singer

Illustration by Doã Dung

by Nguyen Cam Huong We got out of the car at the provincial capital's bus station at dusk. Teachers and students laden with pots, pans, rice and other foods trudged to a village 10 km away. The end-of-winter rain was not heavy but icy cold, sending chills down to their bones. We tried to walk quickly not just because of the cold, but also because of our churning stomachs. It was completely dark when we arrived at the village. The advance team had prepared our accommodation. We lived in the villagers' houses. Even the villagers had already slept. They woke up and received us. My friend and I were put up in a three-room house. The owner of the house was a middle-aged woman. We were a bit surprised. "My husband and his son are in the army and fighting in the South" - She said. "What about….?" "Only I live here." We felt a bit relieved, as that the house was not crowded. The next day, the head of the class came and said in a low voice: "Be careful because the house's owner is … [Read more...]

Experts lambaste Hanoi Opera House’s new paint job


Conservation experts and architects in Vietnam have frowned on the overly bright, intense new paint job on the Hanoi Opera Theater, one of the capital’s most prominent icons and tourist attractions. The new coating is part of the regular maintenance work that is going on at the Hanoi Opera House, located at 1 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District. The mansion, which is not far from Hoan Kiem Lake, another hallmark, was built by French people in 1901 and modeled after a theater in Paris. After being put into use in 1911, the grand theater has been a venue for numerous major cultural and artistic events, and grown into one of the capital city’s most popular tourist attractions. The mansion underwent a major facelift which began in 1994 and was completed three years later. The ongoing makeover mostly consists of applying a new layer of paint to the theater and carrying out minor repairs to a number of interior details, Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, director of the … [Read more...]

Vietnam, UK artists fuse traditional tunes with world music


An internationally-applauded expat Vietnamesesingerhas combined her voice withan eclectic mix of world music produced by a British musician in a bid to promote her home country’s traditional music to the world. Over a decade ago, at a disc shop in Helsinki, Finland, Jason Carter, an international performer of Flamenco, Jazz and Classical Guitar, was recommended "Dragonfly," a mixture of traditional Vietnamese music and jazz produced by Huong Thanh and expat Vietnamese musician Nguyen Le, one of the world’s leading jazz guitarists. Thanh, now 56, is an internationally-acclaimed singer in traditional music who settled in France at age 18. Her "Dragonfly" instantly cast a spell on Carter, who found her music hair- raising and bewitching and listened to it repeatedly for weeks on end. Sometime later, Carter could not believe his eyes after seeing Thanh performing at the same world music café in Paris as he was. During their first meeting, the British … [Read more...]

I want to share the artistic legacy Can has left


Tran Thi Hong and her sculpture of her husband, painter Tran Van Can (Photo: NDO – A salon showcasing artworks by Tran Van Can (1910 – 1994), a master of Vietnamese painting, will hopefully open in the near future. Nhan Dan newspaper reporter Phong Van held a talk with Can’s wife, sculptor Tran Thi Hong, about Can’s artistic legacy as well as what she has done to store and bring his paintings to the masses. Question: At a talk ten years ago, you shared that you would probably sell some of Can’s artworks because your house did not have enough space to store the roughly 1,000 paintings. Has this happened yet?Answer:I am sorry to say that it has. In his will, Can said that his paintings were a small gift from him to me, and hoped that they would somehow serve the people and country. However, I was so concerned about the amount of paintings stored in my cramped and aging house, which leaks water when it rains. Can was bestowed the Ho Chi … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 26/7

Madame Nguyen Thi Binh’s memoir translated into English After its debut to the public 3 years ago, Madame Nguyen Thi Binh’s memoir has been translated by US writer Lady Borton and will be introduced to an international audience at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. The autobiography entitled "Family, Friends, and Country" is a collection of memoirs by Madame Nguyen Thi Binh, born 1927, who led the Vietnamese negotiating team at the Paris Peace Accord which was signed in 1973. She was the first Foreign Minister of Vietnam and then served as Vice President from 1992 to 2002. Her collection of memoirs is considered a tribute to her comrades and folks who laid down their lives in the national resistance wars to liberate and reunite Vietnam, as well as international friends who supported Vietnam during those wars. Dream comes true for musician Le Minh Son A new reality music show will be aired on VTV1 from August 1. Du Ca Viet (Music Journey) is directed by musician Le … [Read more...]

The ‘barefoot tour guides’ in Quang Ninh


VietNamNet Bridge – Whenever tourists visit, the farmers in Yen Duc Commune become tour guides in their area. Mr. Nguyen Van Hien is a farmer in Yen Duc commune, the town of Dong Trieu, Quang Ninh, but also the employee of the Yen Duc Cooperative - a model of community-based tourism that is gradually becoming familiar with travelers in recent years. Yen Duc not only has peaceful scenery and quiet rice fields but also many relics and scenic spots such as Canh Huong pagoda, Cave 73, and mountains with simple names as Thoc (Paddy), Meo (Cat) and Chuot (Mouse). I t lies on the route from Hanoi to Ha Long. Since 2011, the Indochina Cruise Company has turned Yen Duc into an attractive tourist site, especially for foreigners. They can join the tour to become Vietnamese farmers through planting paddy and vegetables, using fishing-tackles to catch fish, resting in Vietnamese traditional houses, watching water puppetry shows, listening to quan ho love duets and visiting old houses … [Read more...]

More activities launched for policy beneficiaries

The staff of the Saigon Newport Corporation donate their blood. Photo:

PANO – The staff of the Saigon Newport Corporation donated nearly 400 units of blood, which will be used for soldiers receiving treatment in the Defence Ministry’s Military Hospital 175 on July 25th. * Previously, the National Steering Board 1237 for the search and repatriation of martyrs’ remains announced a live-aired artistic exchange "Aspiration for reunification" which will take place at the meeting hall of the Ministry of National Defence on July 27th. * On July 24th, the Military Zone 9 Command and the An Giang provincial People’s Committee held a burial service for volunteer soldiers who had lost their lives while conducting the international obligation in Cambodia, at a martyrs’ cemetery in Thoi Son commune, Tinh Bien district. Particularly, in the dry season of 2014-2015, the Search Teams K90 of Military Zone 9 and K93 of the province repatriated 205 sets of martyrs’ remains, including 12 identified ones, to raise the number of collected … [Read more...]

Gay pride documentaries to be shown in Zanzibar

Proud: Vietnamese youth at Viet Pride. A still from the film Red Over the Rainbow.

ZANZIBAR, TANZANIA (VNS) — A documentary depicting the first two gay-pride parades in Ha Noi in 2012 and 2013, known as Viet Pride, and other compelling stories from the LGBT community, will premiere at the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), East Africa's largest film, music and arts festival. Directed by Vincent Baumont, Red over the Rainbow is one of 27 documentaries that will be screened at the festival, which runs from July 18-26. The film depicts milestones achieved by the LGBT community, and profiles members of the community from different generations, genders and backgrounds who are united in building a strong and proud community. The film also sheds light on the challenges and stigma that LGBT people face in Viet Nam at a time when the economy is growing at a fast pace and many local residents are still deeply anchored to family and long-held cultural traditions. "The first gay pride in Viet Nam was really important," Baumont said. "It took place the same … [Read more...]

Hanoi tourism sector eyes Western Europe, Belarus tourists


Foreign tourists visit a booth showcasing Hanoi's handicrafts (Photo: VNA) The capital city’s tourism sector has launched a number of promotion programmes to attract tourists from Belarus and five Western European countries – Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. The move comes after the Government granted one-year visa exemptions for tourists from Western European countries and five years for Belarus, as heard at a conference in Hanoi on July 23. Chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association Vu The Binh revealed that tourists from the five Western European countries all consider Hanoi their primary destination when visiting Vietnam. As such, the Government’s visa exemption policy presents a good opportunity for the capital to build new high-quality tourism products, he said. Businesses asked the tourism sector to host more art performances such as puppetry, "ca tru" ceremonial singing, "cheo" (traditional operetta) and circuses to entertain visitors. … [Read more...]

New paint at Hanoi Opera House: Not the last color

Illustrative image

(Cinet)- The Hanoi Opera House is being repaired and re-painted after the first restoration 20 years ago. The entire facade of the building has been painted white and yellow, which is different from the original paint. However, it is not the last paint to color the House. According to Phan Dinh Tan, Head of the Office, speechman of Minsitry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said that the Ministry paid attention to select the same paint that was used in 1997. Ms. Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet, director of the Hanoi Opera House, said the theater is being repaired and. the color of the facade will be painted again. The refurbishment has been permitted by the authorities. However, the Hanoi Department of Culture as well as the Heritage Department of the Ministry of Culture both said that they had not yet received the theatre’s application for the repair. Prof. Hoang Dao Kinh, who was in charge of the first restoration in 1996, commented: "The theatre is outstanding for its noble beauty … [Read more...]

August highlights at VinSpace

Participants are seen at the Canvas & Wine event at VinSpace Art Studio

Kieu Giang Canvas & Wine, themed Nocturne Painting and scheduled for August 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., is where attendants have two hours to create artworks under soft glows, bright glares and atmospheric style of a night in Saigon. The event will be held at VinSpace Art Studio at S24-1 Le Van Thiem Street in HCMC’s District 7. Guests will be charged US$38 per person, inclusive of two glasses of wine and all painting materials. There is a 15% discount for groups of four at a price of US$130 and 20% for teachers at US$31 per person. Parents who are searching for space to keep their kids busy can consider the Summer Camp from now until August 17 at both VinSpace at S24-1 Le Van Thiem in District 7 and at 6 Le Van Mien in HCMC’s District 2. This is where children find a good place to show their creativity. There are mixed media of pencil/charcoal, sketching, watercolor painting, soft pastel drawing and acrylic painting. Children will discover how they can draw, … [Read more...]

Musician An Thuyen and his love for Nghe An province


(VOVworld) –Major General An Thuyen was a renowned musician, who had a great love for his home province of Nghe An. He helped to train many influential musicians and artists in Vietnam. Thuyen’s childhood was linked with the folk songs and chants of his home province. He could play many kinds of traditional Vietnamese instruments when he was 11. In his 20s Thuyen wrote two of his favorite songs, which made a name for him: "I choose this way" and "Remembering Uncle Ho while listening to chants on the boat at night". Musician Do Hong Quan, President of the Vietnam Musicians’ Association, said:"Musician An Thuyen had a great passion for Vietnam’s folk music, the music of Nghe Tinh, and the music of Vietnam’s northern mountain provinces. His compositions are a mixture of these kinds of music and I think this is an outstanding innovation." Many of his songs are popular across generations, like "Beloved Hue", "Folk song, You and Me", "Heroic Vietnamese … [Read more...]