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Culture ministry promotes online performances amid COVID-19 pandemic

An audience-free art programme was broadcast on Vietnam National Television (VTV) last month as restrictions on COVID-19 have been tightened. This is a part of an online theatre programme conducted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

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Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Ta Quang Dong. Photo toquoc.vn

Deputy Minister Ta Quang Dong speaks about the programme.

Could you tell us about the online theatre programme launched recently?

For the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected numerous sectors, especially the entertainment and tourism industry. Theatres have to close, shows have not been held and artists cannot perform. 

It means no festivals, no big concerts and no big audiences. As a result, there needs to be innovative ways to help artists continue connecting with their audience and it is more important than ever to convey positive messages to the viewers.

The online theatre programme also aims to produce shows to promote and encourage people to fight the pandemic.

From the end of last year, the ministry launched the YouTube channel Nghệ Thuật Biểu Diễn Việt Nam (Vietnamese Performing Art) and livestreamed a number of theatre productions that were presented in national competitions and art festivals in 2020.

It is the first step to experiment with the online theatre programme. Livestreams help viewers see and learn about art contests and festivals. They don’t need to watch them in person. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an online theatre programme?

The online theatre programme includes shows on television. This is a good way to bring art to a mass audience. Plus, it gives an opportunity for artists to perform amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Television Theatre programme needs to experiment and develop a detailed plan. In June, the ministry continues to record art shows to post on social media and broadcast on television.

We thank VTV; Voice of Vietnam Television and local broadcast and television stations for airing the shows.

The ministry’s Department of Performing Arts will take responsibility for selecting the shows and rehearsals. The television stations will edit the shows to suit their broadcasts.

Shows such as the tuong (traditional opera) performance entitled Trung Thần (A Loyal Court Servant) by the Vietnam Tuong Theatre and concert Những Ngôi Sao Bất Tử (The Immortal Stars) were presented on TV screens last month.

Plus, VTV has shown ten Vietnamese documentaries and animations this month. 

Is this project just for the pandemic or it will be developed in the future?

Television theatre programmes and online shows are not temporary. This is a way to develop performing arts in the new era.

This will not kill off traditional theatre. Online theatre and theatre on television or other digital platforms will develop together. 

Could you tell us more about the online shows?

With the participation of 12 theatres under the ministry, the online theatre is showing 24 performances from now to the end of this year. The performances include different art genres such as traditional arts tuong, cheo (popular opera), cai luong (reformed theatre), puppetry, circus, music, symphony, opera and ballet.

There will be 12 talkshows with Vietnamese artists at home and abroad which will be launched on the Nghệ Thuật Biểu Diễn Việt Nam YouTube channel. 

Source: Vietnam News

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