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Experimental puppet show begins in Hanoi

A performance combining puppetry, folk music and cultural elements of each region in Vietnam will be held in Hanoi this weekend, Saturday and Sunday.

A scene in Trăng (Moon) experimental art show. — Photo

Trăng (Moon) experimental art show will be performed by artists from the Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre.

Explaining the title of the show, Nguyen Tien Dung, director of the theatre and the performance, said a moon is an object bestowed by nature, associated with beauty and peace but also close to every human. In the dark night, the moon shines brightly, covering everything with its subtle and magical light. It is an endless source of inspiration for poets and writers worldwide.

“The great beauty of the moon has inspired me to come up with a contemporary art show that combines both puppetry and national folk music, which aims to introduce the audience to the beauty of Vietnamese culture,” he said. 

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The director said Trăng is not based on any specific story but on the typical cultural characteristics of each region in Vietnam.

The moonlight will accompany the audience with their journey to different regions, from the remote mountainous region with ethnic minority boys and girls in colourful clothes to the plains with dating couples and flying storks reflected on the water.

The moonlight also enlightens the Central Highlands with dances and becomes sweet in every tune and melody of the ancient capital of Hue. The audience will be immersed in the moonlight of the southern region with lively folk tunes and exciting local dances.

Nguyen Minh Huong, who attended the preview show, said she felt excited to have the chance to see a traditional puppet performance, enjoy folk music and explore the cultural beauty of each region.

“In particular, I was much interested in the puppets with funny and beautiful shapes, like the stork puppets wearing raincoats made of palm leaves or puppets imitating the ethnic people from the Central Highlands carrying the bamboo baskets on their backs,” Huong said.

Trăng has also received praise from other artists.

“The experimental puppet show is an attractive programme because it combines the art of puppetry with the art of singing, dance and music,” said artist Do Ky, the acting head of the Performing Arts Department from the Minister of Sports, Culture and Tourism.

“The director has creatively utilised the theatrical space and stage. With Trăng, the artists of the Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre have once again affirmed that puppetry can enchant not only children but also adults,” he said.

According to puppeteer Nguyen Xuan Long, such innovation in puppetry will create profound inspiration and add passion for the career to puppeteers.

“Instead of performing traditional tales, Vietnamese puppetry is transforming as they are choreographed into contemporary stories, offering new experiences to the audience, which is a very encouraging effort,” he added.

Tickets of Trăng can be purchased at the Puppetry Theatre or via Facebook of the theatre, priced from VND100,000 to VND160,000 (US$4-7).

After its first performance this January, the show will also be held on the occasion of the Lunar New Year as well.

The specific schedule will be published on Vietnam National Puppetry Theatre’s website or Facebook page. VNS

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