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ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 24/5

 Duc Tuan to perform at Da Nang theatre; Singing competition open to overseas Vietnamese; Binh Quoi village river tours present HCM City in new light; Cartoon show for kids

Duc Tuan to perform at Da Nang theatre

Pop singer Duc Tuan will perform at the central city's Trung Vuong Theatre tonight, according to event organiser Le Kha Luc.

The live show will include 20 songs composed by late musician Pham Duy, and extracts from the Phantom of the Opera, Le temps de cathedrales (Notre-Dame de Paris), and Vietnamese love songs.

Tonight will be his first live show in Da Nang.

Tuan has put on successful shows in the past including Music of the Night in HCM City in 2009, and Paradiso in Ha Noi and HCM City in 2011.

Art performance to mark World No Tobacco Day

A modern physical drama will be held in Hanoi on May 25 to mobilise people to comply with the "Law on prevention and control of tobacco harms".

The event, jointly organised by the Canada’s HealthBridge organisation on May 25 will coordinate with the Vietnam National Committee on Smoking and Tobacco Control (VINACOSH) and Ministry of Health and Tuoi Tre (Youth) Theatre, aims to spread the message of the World No Tobacco Day (May 31): “Ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship”.

According to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper, the physical drama will draw the participation of 25 actors and actresses from Tuoi Tre Theatre and more than 300 volunteers and students from universities in Hanoi .

Through the kind of freezing drama and flashmob dancing, the organising board hopes to attract the interest of the public in general and youth in particular to the prevention and control of the harms of tobacco use.

Sharing opinion on this event, Pham Thi Hoang Anh, Director of HealthBridge Organisation, said that the "Law on prevention and control of tobacco harms" issued and executed is a strong political commitment of Vietnam to protecting people's health from the harmful effects of tobacco.

The support and strict execution of the Law of the community will contribute to reducing diseases caused by tobacco in Vietnam in the future, she said.

Bui Nhu Lai, deputy head of the Hanoi-based Youth Theatre’s Troupe 3 said the Law, which took effect on May 1 this year, is very essential and expressed his pleasure to participate in this programme, thereby contributing a voice to respond to the Law.

Harsh penalty for fashion show host, models

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will apply the harshest penalty and ultimate sanctions on the Venus Company, who hosted a fashion show called ‘Dem Hoi Chan Dai 7’ (the Long-Legged Festival), said Vo Trong Nam, deputy head of the department.

The fashion show sparked criticism from the public at the very start after the invitation was released on the Internet with pictures of semi-nude male and female models.

Although the culture department had sent a warning to the organizer, the Venus Company disregarded these warnings and continued wrongdoings intentionally.

Trong Nam said the invitation violated regulations as it had the logo of a brandy brand and showed gross indecency as it featured an underwear show which wasn’t included when the program contents were submitted to the department for approval. Some clothes of designer Minh Tu were also not included in the rehearsal.

One May 23, cultural inspectors called the organizer and models to the department to inform of their decision to fine; however, nobody turned up.

Pham Dinh Thang, deputy head of the Department of Performing Arts, said they are determined to impose harsh penalties on violations as per regulations, to correct cultural and fashion related activities in the country.

Singing competition open to overseas Vietnamese

Viet Nam Television's Sao Mai (Morning Star) Singing Contest will widen to include Vietnamese living in eight European countries.

Contestants will be classed in three music genres: folk, chamber music and pop. The first round will be carried out in northern, central and southern regions plus Europe to select 12 contestants for the final round in August.

Three prizes will be granted for each genre and two special prizes from the jury board and audience.

According to organisers, overseas contestants are required to sing Vietnamese songs or foreign songs with Vietnamese lyrics.

Binh Quoi village river tours present HCM City in new light

Saigontourist's Binh Quoi Tourist Village has launched seven new river tours to attractive destinations in HCM City.

The destinations of these tours are: the East-West Highway; Binh Quoi Tourist Park; Cu Chi Tunnel; Can Gio Resort; Vam Sat Tourist Area in Can Gio District; Long Phuoc Garden House in District 9 ; and Phu My Hung New Urban Area in District 7.

Ten boats with capacities from six to 40 people have been used for these services.

The travel agency will also offer a 90-minute cruise on the Sai Gon River which departs at 7pm every weekday and from 5.30pm and 7.30pm.on Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are priced at VND120,000 per person.

Cartoon show for kids

A painting exhibition of characters from South Korean animation and cartoon works will open in Ha Noi on Sunday.

The exhibition will be held by the Korean Cultural Centre for Vietnamese and Korean children on the occasion of International Children's Day, June 1.

Illustrators Jo Gwan-Je, who is chairman of the Korean Cartoonist Association, Yang Jae-huyn, Jeon Guk-jin, and Won Hyun-jae will attend the opening ceremony at 9.30am.

Visitors will have chance to see the illustrators drawing during the ceremony. The paintings will then be given to the visitors.

Animated cartoons like Pororo The Racing Adventure and Leafie A Hen Into The Wild will be screened on the opening day. About 150 children including those from orphanages invited to the opening day will receive cartoon books and gifts from the centre.

The seven-day exhibition will run until June 1 at 49 Nguyean Du Street, Ha Noi.

Top Vietnamese chef featured in culinary exchange

The Vietnam Consulate General in Sydney has hosted an exchange to introduce special Vietnamese dishes cooked by renowned Vietnamese Australian chef Nhut Huynh.

The culinary exchange is part of activities in honour of the 40th anniversary of Vietnam-Australia diplomatic ties (1973-2013).

Consul General to Sydney Mai Phuoc Dung praised the strong development of the Vietnam-Australia comprehensive partnership, adding that chef Huynh’s dishes will help bring Vietnamese and Australian culinary cultures closer.

Diners had the chance to enjoy traditional dishes from Vietnam such as spring rolls, summer shrimp rolls, chicken salad and grilled shrimp paste made with both Vietnamese and Australian spices.

Nhut Huynh is the author of the "Little Vietnam" cookbook that introduces Vietnamese specialities.

He is also scheduled to be a member of the jury at a cooking contest for Vietnamese and Australian children organised by the Australian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City and the KOTO charitable training centre on June 17-21.

Art contest for Vietnamese, Australian students launched

A drawing contest for Vietnamese and Australian students was launched in Hanoi on May 20 to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic ties between Vietnam and Australia.

All children aged 6-16 studying at the Australian Embassy, of the Australian community, international organizations and schools in Australia can participate in the contest.

According to Nguyen Huu Do, chairman of the Australia-Vietnam Friendship Association (AVNFA) of Hanoi, the contest aims to praise the land, people and solidarity of the two countries, as well as stimulating children’s imagination and encouraging them to express their love and feelings about their countries.

It will run until August.

Korean cartoon and comic exhibition

The Hanoi-based Korean Culture Centre will host an exhibition showcasing Korean comics, cartoons, and animation from May 26 to June 1.

Organised by the Korea Culture Centre in Hanoi and the Korea Culture and Content Agency (KOCCA), the exhibition forms part of celebrations marking International Children’s Day (June 1).

It will include famous Korean cartoons like Pororo The Racing Adventure and Leafie A Hen Into The Wild.

Gwan Je Jo, Chairman of the Korean Cartoonist Association, and Won Hyun Jae, author of the popular online comic “Space China Dress”, are expected to attend the opening of the exhibition, drawing and signing autographs for fans.

One hundred and fifty lucky children will receive invitations to the exhibition’s opening ceremony as well as comic gift packs hoping to expand the reach of Korean culture in Vietnam.

Vietnam’s contemporary art brought to Russia

Different trends of Vietnam’s contemporary art have been introduced to Russian art lovers through a painting exhibition recently held in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

At the exhibition, Vietnamese painters’ artworks stood along paintings created by artists from Vladivostok , Ussuriysk and Krasnoyarsk cities, including that of Olga Zotova, Associate Professor of the Far Eastern Federal University, who is in charge of the event.

In 2012, Olga Zotova organised a tour of Vietnam for Russian artists who made sketches depicting the southern coastal city of Nha Trang in different styles.

Apart from exhibiting their paintings, participating Vietnamese painters also visited museum, attended seminars and festivals, and learnt new arts and handicrafts in Vladivostok, where cultures of Russia, Japan and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has intertwined.

Lacquer paintings by Nha Trang fine arts students that they brought along will vie at the ASEAN painters’ contest in the city in August.

Slogan contest on Vietnam-Australia ties launched

A Slogan contest for Vietnamese students interested in English was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on May 22.

The event, co-organized by the Vietnam Union of Friendship Associations and the Vietnam-Australia Friendship Association in HCM City, is part of activities to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

Vietnamese youth, aged from 16 to 25, will have the chance to learn more about Australian culture and the solidarity and friendship between the two countries.

Those living in HCM City and southern provinces are eligible for the contest. Each contestant will produce a slogan in English with a maximum of 10 words and an interpretation of no more than 200 words featuring the friendship between Vietnam and Australia.

The deadline for entries to be sent to http://www.hoivietuc.edu.vn or www.facebook.com/HoiVietUc  is June 25.

The list of winners will be announced at the final scheduled for July 20 in Ho Chi Minh City.

German-Vietnam cultural exchange held in Berlin

Vietnamese and German children joined a cultural exchange programme held in Berlin on May 21.

Present at the event were Deputy Chairman of the Germany-Vietnam Association Chu Thi Phuong Thu, representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy, Vietnamese residents and German friends.

Prof. Wilfried Lulei, a German researcher of Vietnam Studies, highlighted the significance of the event, saying it will help strengthen the bilateral friendship and mutual understanding about the cultural traditions and customs of each country.

Participants enjoyed Vietnamese music and dance performances like UNESCO-recognized Quan Ho folksongs, Vietnamese Ao Dai fashion show, and German folk singing.

They also had the chance to taste Vietnamese specialties such as steamed rice cakes, spring roll, and traditional salad.

30 first contestants enter Miss Ethnic finale

After the Hanoi semifinal’s swimsuit and national costume sections on May 20, the northern region’s best 30 contestants have advanced to the final round of the third Miss Ethnic Vietnam pageant.

Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, crowned Miss Thai Nguyen 2011, was a late 31st addition to the final round, scheduled for June 11–27 in Quang Nam Province’s Hoi An City.

The final round will be contested by 50 competitors selected from the two regions’ semi-finals.

It will serve as the finale for the 5th Quang Nam Heritage Festival broadcast live on the national and local television channels.

Earlier, qualifying rounds took place in Ho Chi Minh City from May 11–12 and narrowed the field down to 127 contestants from 27 ethnic groups.

The northern region was represented by 51 contestants from 15 ethnic groups, while the southern region contributed 67 contestants from 11 ethnic groups.

CIAT Company launched the 2013 pageant in in March. It received 1,000 profiles submitted by contestant hopefuls from 35 ethnic groups nationwide.

Top programme prepared for Nha Trang sea festival

This year's sea festival, held from June 8 to 11 in Nha Trang City as well as the districts of Khanh Vinh and Ninh Hoa, will have at least 65 activities to entertain visitors and residents, according to the Khanh Hoa provincial administration.

Those attending the festival will have a chance to have a lot of fun with events like fishing at night, beach volleyball, bicycle race, draught beer and wine festivals, disco carnival on the beach, flower arrangement and traditional cake making contests, and kite flying.

One of the highlights of the festival will be the International Sea Travel Expo (ISTE 2013) held from June 6-8 at the Diamond Bay Amphitheater. The theme of the expo this year is "Sea, Islands and Tourism Development".

Da Lat train takes travellers on ‘instant tour' of beautiful city

A quick ride on a train made 100 years ago in Switzerland is the best way for tourists to see Da Lat City if they are pushed for time.

The starting point is the train station designed by French architects in 1932 that was abandoned during the resistance wars against the French and Americans. In the 1990s, part of it was reused. Now, a 7km ride has been designed for visitors that runs from the station to Trai Mat, a famous tourist attraction with lots of vegetables and flowers planted in greenhouses.

During the ride, visitors can see colourful flower gardens and other picturesque sights. Upon arrival they can visit the nearby Linh Ung pagoda, a magnificent work of art built using broken pottery.

Last year, the Asia Book of Records recognised the pagoda for having the "Largest Buddha Avalokiteshvara statue made of flowers". The 17m-high, 3-tonne statue was made of 650,000 immortelle flowers by 30 artisans and 600 Buddhist volunteers in 36 days.-

 Intercontinental puts on glitzy wedding fair

The Intercontinental Asiana Saigon will host a wedding fair, Sparkling Crystal, in the hotel's Grand Ballroom, which will be decorated with different wedding themes on Sunday.

The fair will introduce the latest wedding dress collections by the city's leading fashion designers, Truong Thanh Hai and Joli Poli. Professional photographer Nukia will offer a selection of wedding-themed albums, while experts from Serenade Company and Misa Vu wedding planner will give ideas for a unique wedding.

Wedding arches will be arranged by B&D Florist and floral artist Nhung Chang Trai, and tokens and gifts from Chocolate Graphic.

The fair will open from 10am to 9pm.

Charitable June jazz festival to hit District 4

The first annual Jazz Festival featuring music, dance, Cajun food and coolers will open at the District 4-based Q4 event space on June 1.

The event, organised by Arts for Mobility, an organisation that raises funds for charity, will feature Andy J Forest from New Orleans and Shun Sakai from Tokyo, and local artists including the Wanderlusters and Flightwave. There will be jazz performances by Dancenter as well as belly-dance shows.

Tickets cost VND500,000, which includes a VND200,000 voucher for food and drinks.

All proceeds will be donated to Kids First Vietnam to buy wheelchairs.

The festival will open at 4pm. The venue is at 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh in HCM City's District 4.-

 Friday night screening for celebrated VN film

The Centre for Assistance and Development of Movie Talent (TPD) will screen Living in Fear by director Bui Thac Chuyen on Friday night. The film will feature English subtitles.

Award-winning film Living in Fear (2005) tells the story of a former soldier, Tai, who can't find job and has two families to maintain. He soon finds that the only work available may be clearing mines and unexploded bombs left over from the war.

The fundraising event asks audiences to contribute VND50,000 to support TPD activities.

The screening starts at 8pm at the TPD centre, fourth floor, 51 Tran Hung Dao St.

Bookings can be made via emails to tpdmovie@gmail.com, directly at the TPD centre or call 04 39366559.-

Television documentaries receive accolades

The second National Television Documentary and Reporting Festival honoured 22 productions yesterday in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

Con River's Martial Arts Village, produced by An Vien Group, won best documentary while best reporting went to Danger in Craft Village; Alarming Working Safety in Timber Processing Factories and Safety Solution in Coal Mine by provincial television stations in Yen Bai, Soc Trang and Quang Ninh.

The three-day festival, focusing on nation, people, renewal, integration and safe hygiene, drew more than 100 works from 45 stations.

The next festival will be held in Hai Phong.

Restoration begins at Tu Duc's resting place

Work was started yesterday on a project to restore some ruined buildings at Khiem Lang Mausoleum, the site of King Tu Duc's tomb, in Hue City.

The restoration will take place on three buildings, Xung Khiem Pavilion, Du Khiem Pavilion and the gate of Khiem Cung Palace, all located around the Luu Khiem Lake.

According to the Hue Monuments Conservation Centre, the wooden houses and concrete gate built in 1864 were damaged in 1945, and have deteriorated further over time.

The project will cost a total of VND26 billion (US$1.2 million), which is being provided by local people and from the city's budget. The restoration work will take three years due to complications to the structures of the buildings.

Nguyen Van Phuc, an official from the monuments centre, said that the mausoleum would remain open for tourists as the construction site dominated only part of the area.

The centre had also planned to open one more gate to create easier access for tourists, he told Viet Nam News.

Khiem Lang Mausoleum belongs to the Nguyen Dynasty's fourth king Duc Tong Anh, who went by the name Tu Duc. It is now one of the country's most beautiful heritage sites, attracting millions of visits a year.

Singer Siu Black to judge new reality talent show

Veteran singer Siu Black will be the lead judge in a new reality singing contest called Toi La Nguoi Chien Thang, which is based on the format of the Dutch show, The Winner Is.

The singer, who has been a judge for three Vietnam Idol editions (2008, 2009 and 2010), will work with a panel of 100 journalists, editors and other music experts in selecting the winner of the show.

The contest, produced by HCM City Television (HTV) and Dong Tay Promotions, will have 64 soloists and groups of all ages who will compete in head-to-head singing duels.

This year's contestants include popular singers and artists like 2008 Vietnam Idol winner Quoc Thien, 2010 HTV's TV Singing Star contest winner H'Zina Bya, music band VMen and actor Quach Ngoc Ngoan.

After each round, contestants will have a chance to make a deal and leave the show with cash prizes ranging from VND10 million to 60 million (US$478 – 2,870) if they believe they will not win against their competitors.

The grand winner will get a cash prize of VND300 million ($14,300).

Actor and model Binh Minh will host the show, while Duong Khac will be its music director.

The 12 episodes of the show will be broadcast on HTV7 at 9pm every Saturday, beginning this week.-

Free symphony for HCM City youth

A special concert for youth in HCM City will feature the New World Symphony by Czech composer Antonin Dvorak at the Opera House on May 29.

The show is part of a learning programme attended by 900 youths organised by HCM City Symphony and Ballet Theatre at the end of each month.

Antonin Leopold Dvorak (1841-1904) composed the New World Symphony in 1893 while he was director of the National Conservatory of Music of America.

It is by far his most popular symphony, and one of the most popular in romantic repertoire. In older literature and recordings, this symphony is often indicated as Symphony No 5.

US astronaut Neil Armstrong took a recording of the New World Symphony to the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the first Moon landing, in 1969.

 UK town marks link to President Ho

If you were to think of the places associated with the life of late President Ho Chi Minh, you probably would not consider the small British seaside town of Newhaven. However, the town does indeed have a significant link with the founder of modern Viet Nam, which it celebrated on Sunday along with representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy to the UK.

The ceremony on May 19 coincided with both the 100th anniversary of President Ho's first arrival in the UK and his 123rd birthday.

And the connection? According to a Sussex professor and a local council chairman, Ho Chi Minh may once have worked as a pastry chef on the cross-channel ferry service between the French town of Dieppe and Newhaven following World War I.

The ceremony started with the handover of a bronze statue of President Ho, weighing about 120kg, to the Newhaven Museum. The gift was from the Ha Noi-based Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and was presented by the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK, Vu Quang Minh.

Martin Evans, a professor at the University of Sussex, said that he was first made aware of the town's link with Ho Chi Minh 25 years ago while on a visit to Dieppe in the late 1980s, where he was told by a local French communist that the future Vietnamese leader had worked on the Dieppe to Newhaven ferry. Meanwhile, Gramham Amy, former mayor of Newhaven, said when he was small he was told the ferry story by an older relative.

The town has been quick to celebrate its famous connection and one of the many banners displayed at Newhaven's West Quay reads: "Did you know that Ho Chi Minh once worked as a pastry chef on the Newhaven-Dieppe Ferry?"

Evans, who was present at the ceremony, explained why it was important to commemorate the link. "The ceremony was a very important and emotional moment. Ho Chi Minh is an important figure not only in Vietnamese history but in world history as well. The connection shows that Newhaven was one of the places Ho Chi Minh visited while he was developing his revolutionary politics."

Speaking later at the town's Meeching Hall, Vietnamese Ambassador Minh said that the ceremony showed that the historical links between the life of the late President and the town of Newhaven had been revived and strengthened.

Mayor of Newhaven Julie Carr told the participants that it was an honour for the town to mark the event, particularly at a time when the two countries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. She said that the story of President Ho once working in Newhaven was a significant part of the town's history.

 Vietnamese photography exhibition opens in Japan

Photos of Vietnamese people and their culture are on display in Tokyo to commemorate Photography Month 2013 which opened on Friday.

Photographer Ba Han introduced his collection Viet Nam - The Moments and will represent Vietnamese delegates by giving a talk at the event. Viet Nam has 86 photos displayed including monochrome photos of Vietnamese people in rural areas by Hoang The Nhiem, life of the Cham people by Huynh Van Nam, Vietnamese women by female photographers from Hai Au Club and ordinary lives by Nguyen Phu Binh.

The event has also attracted representatives from Japan, India, Bangladesh and Malaysia. All entries will be displayed until June 10.

Source: VNS/VOV/VNS/SGGP

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