Art & Entertainment Headlines January 6

Binh Thuan to host Miss Vietnam Ocean

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has authorised Binh Thuan province and the Vo Viet Chung Company to organize Miss Vietnam Ocean 2014.

The inaugural beauty contest is part of Blue Ocean World’s campaign to protect the marine environment.

The pageant will run from now until May 23. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are hosts for the qualifying and semifinal rounds before the final unfolds in Binh Thuan province’s Phan Thiet City.

Designer Vo Viet Chung, head of the pageant’s organising board, detailed plans to register it at international levels and the intention to make it an annual event. If successful, Vietnam would host any World Miss Ocean competitions and be recognised as its founder like the Philippines with Miss Earth and the US with Miss Universe.

Chung revealed the pageant’s jury will include journalist Nguyen The Than; a former Vice Director of the HCM City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism; and actressLy Nha Ky.

Miss Vietnam will also be held in 2014.

Intact shipwreck to be removed from river and displayed

A 19th century shipwreck discovered in 2012 in the Lo River in the northern city of Tuyen Quang is now being removed from the river.

A 19th century shipwreck discovered in 2012 in the Lo River in the northern city of Tuyen Quang is now being removed from the river.

The wooden ship, which should be removed by the end of January, measures 41m long, 8.8m wide, and 2m high, and is covered with thin bronze pieces.

The ship appears to be intact, and contains various objects, including five bronze oil lamps with glass bulbs, said archeologists.

They believe the ship was powered by a steam engine dating to the end of 19th or early 20th century. Some of the lights found on the ship were manufactured in England and Germany.

Archeologists noted that this type of ship was rarely found in Viet Nam, making it particularly valuable because it might tell about the history of ship building, as well as the trade between Viet Nam and other countries in the 19th century.

According to Dao Dang Cuong, deputy director of the project to retrieve the ship from the river, the ship and items found aboard are to be put on display in the provincial museum.

Van Tan feted for 40 years of portraying Ho Chi Minh

A conference about traditional opera actor Van Tan has been held to praise his success in playing the role of President Ho Chi Minh over the past 40 years.

Van Tan, born as Nguyen Van Tan in the northern province of Bac Giang, has set a national record in playing President Ho in traditional opera (cheo) with more than 1,700performances.

There have also been 15 books, as well as 160 magazines and newspapers that published articles about his shows and praised his talents.

At the conference, Prof Hoang Chuong, director of the Centre for Research, Preserving and Bringing into Full Play Traditional Culture, noted that in the past decade, many artists in various art fields had played the late President to highlight his morals and thoughts.

Beside Van Tan, other names, such as Sy Hung, Duc Trung, Tien Hoi and Tien Tho, also successfully played the President.

Even in his 60s, Tan continued composing songs, as he performed with artists from the Bac Giang Cheo Club during a play about President Ho in 2008.

“His acting was praised by people from various localities when the Viet Nam Theatre Institute’s artists gave performances in 1992,” said Le Tien Tho, chairman of the Viet Nam Theatrical Artists’ Association.

Also, actor Le Chuc noted that Tan’s success was partly due to his appearance, which looked very much like the President.

Over the years, Tan has received various honours, including a Medal for the Cause of Viet Nam Theatre, a Medal for the Cause of Viet Nam Literature and Arts and Dao Tan Prize for cheo artists.

45 int’l art troupes attend Hue Festival 2014

The 2014 Hue Festival’s organising board announced 45 international art troupes from 35 countries have already registered to attend the celebration’s eighth iteration, taking place from April 12 to 20.

Themed “Cultural Heritage with Integration and Development”, the festival forms part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ East Asian-Latin American cultural exchange.

This is the first time Vietnam will welcome world famous art troupes including Brazil’s Sururu Na Roda music band, Japan’s Bati-Holic, and the Palestinian folk dance troupe Asayel.

Domestic and foreign organisations have defied economic difficulties to ensure Hue Festival 2014 has received its required VND20 billion funding.

90,000 flower pots for Nguyen Hue Flower Street

More than 90,000 flower pots for Nguyen Hue Flower Street from gardens in HCMC, Dong Thap and Dalat have been ordered by the event’s organizer, with numerous

decorative materials also almost ready for the street decoration during the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet.

Chiem Thanh Long, deputy head of the 2014 Nguyen Hue Flower Street organizing board, informed that the number of flowers this year is a bit fewer than that of last year’s Tet but the beauty of the annual event will still be ensured.

About 85% of flowers are ordered by the city’s Park and Green Tree Company, with 30% of them coming from Sa Dec flower village in Dong Thap Province and the balance from Dalat and HCMC and other regions, Long said.

“The preparation of flowers has already been completed, with the flowers set to arrive at Nguyen Hue Street on the 24th day to the 25th day of the twelfth lunar month, or more than three weeks from now,” he stated.

As the city’s weather is normally hot during Tet, the organizer focuses on selecting flowers with the ability of enduring sunlight, durability and colorfulness. Therefore, the number of flowers brought from Dalat is small compared to that of orchids from the city’s outlying district of Cu Chi that are accustomed to the hot weather.

“Owing to this year’s weather abnormality, many kinds of flowers are not as beautiful as they were last year and the flower selection must be done more carefully to ensure the flower street’s beauty,” Long reported.

One of the important preparatory steps for the flower street is to prepare decorative materials for the event, which have been done by staff members of Binh Quoi Tourism Area over the past month. Meanwhile, the imposing horses as the mascot of the year of the Horse and other materials requiring high fine-art skills are outlined by a number of artists and then will be carried out by experienced artisans.

Bamboo will still be the major decorative material this year but the organizer will add some other materials such as wood to make the flower street stranger and more diversified, Long noted.

Saigontourist is assigned to arrange Nguyen Hue Flower Street by the city’s government. This year’s event will open from the 28th day of the twelfth lunar month to the fourth day of the first lunar month.

Viet Nam’s first forest festival set for November debut

Viet Nam’s first forest festival will be held in the Dong Nai Biosphere Reserve in the southern province of Dong Nai at the end of November this year, according to the provincial culture department.

Co-organised by the provincial People’s Committee and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the three-day event hopes to attract about 2,000 participants. A variety of activities related to culture, sports and cuisine, as well as seminars will be organised to highlight the importance of protecting forest resources.

According to Tran Quang Toai, the deputy director of Dong Nai’s culture department, the festival aims to promote awareness about Viet Nam’s forests, encourage respect for the benefits and value of natural resources and urge people to protect the forests and natural bio-diversity. He hopes that the festival will also generate interest in tourism in the province and attract tourists from home and overseas.

Album of revolutionary songs hits shelves

Meritorious Artist Quoc Hung, one of the leading bass bass-baritone opera singers in Vietnam released an album of everlasting revolutionary songs.

The CD presents to music lovers masterpieces such as Hanh khuc ngay va dem (The journey of day and night) by Phan Huynh Dieu and Bui Cong Minh, Que huong anh bo doi (Homeland of a Soldier) by Xuan Oanh, La do (Red leaf) by Hoang Hiep and Nguyen Dinh Thi, Diep khuc tinh yeu (Chorus of love) and Vet Chan Tron Tren Cat (Round footprints in the sand) by Tran Tien, Ky niem moi tinh dau (Memories of the first love) by Vu Hung, Bai ca khong quen (Unforgettable song) by Pham Minh Tuan, Song Lo chieu cuoi nam (Lo River in the year-end evening) by Minh Quang, Dat nuoc (The country) by Pham Minh Tuan and Ta Huu Yen, To quoc goi ten minh (The motherland calls our names) by Dinh Trung Can and Nguyen Phan Que Mai.

The album aims to commemorate national heroes, honor love among people related to the country, and is regarded as a link between the past and the present.

The young, modern and artistic melodies remixed by well known musicians namely Tran Manh Hung, Luu Ha An, Ho Hoai Anh, Son Thach and Meritorious Artist Minh Hung are expected to attract diverse audiences.

Zing Music Awards perform again all hit songs in 2013

Zing Music Awards will be organized at Hoa Binh Theater and be broadcasted live on website in the evening of January 7, with the aim to honor composers, singers and music bands who have made outstanding contribution to Vietnamese music in 2013 Accordingly, composer Duc Tri and Nguyen Hai Phong will play important role as two directors of this music program, who are expected to bring fresh air for the event.

Besides, nine hit songs of Vietnam music industry in 2013 also will be performed again in the gala.

During the program, the gala also will welcome the attendances by beauty queens as Mai Phuong Thuy, Huong Giang. Truong Thi May, supermodel Thanh Hang and actor Khuong Ngoc, Quach Ngoc Ngoan, Tran Thanh.

Vietnam disappointed by Miss Vietnam

In spite of the careful and very public selection process for Miss Vietnam last year, in which there were several candidates, there were few international contestants brought home the crown.

Many in the business of beauty pageants in Vietnam have pointed out what they call a unique beauty possessed by Vietnamese women. Their failures at international beauty pageants has been blamed, by such critics, on a lack of preparation and knowledge of the international beauty pageant circuit.

Among four notable international beauty pageants this year, there was only one in which Vietnam was unrepresented. Miss Sport, Lai Huong Thao, represented Vietnam at Miss World contest, model Truong Thi May at Miss Universe contest and Lo Huong Tram at Miss International contest.

Great hopes were placed on Truong Thi May, but those expectations turned to disappointment when she returned home without a prize.

While even her detractors had to concede that luck played a big role, many of the “failures” by the Vietnamese contestants representing the country at international contests came back to haunt them, especially when compared to the successes of Thailand and the Philippines.

These are two countries with which many Vietnamese feel especially competitive in such events.

Sex-related scandals

The past year found a number of well-known Vietnamese celebs embroiled in sex scandals as well. The following are the most memorable.

Recently, the keyword “Ba Tung” has been very popular on social networks and blogs in Vietnam among those searching for information about Le Thi Huyen Anh, who posted several sexually provocative clips and photos on internet.

As a result, she was banned from performing in the country by the Performing Art Department.

Also, the model and actress Angela Phuong Trinh was temporarily suspended from performing after her racy pole dance at a bar in HCM City.

Models, Ngoc Trinh and Ngan Khanh, were also involved in scandals this year. Ngoc Trinh stirred up public controversy with nude photos for which she was paid billions of

VND. Ngan Khanh was fined for revealing her breasts during a live television broadcast.
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