French artists perform masterpiece "Tale of Kieu”

Vietnamese masterpiece ‘The Tale of Kieu’ was adapted into a musical theatre production for the first time by French artists, and was staged in Hanoi in late September.

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

Christophe Thiry

Vietnamese masterpiece ‘The Tale of Kieu’ was adapted into a musical theatre production for the first time by French artists, and was staged in Hanoi in late September. Entitled ‘Kim Van Kieu’, the show told ‘The Tale of Kieu’ in a new way without being disloyal to the original.

On the occasion, the show’s director Christophe Thiry granted an interview to Ha Noi Moi (New Hanoi) Weekly Newspaper to talk more about the show.

Can you please tell us about the motivation to adapt the Vietnamese epic ‘Tale of Kieu’ into a musical theatre production?

French director Christophe Thiry: I have a Vietnamese friend who is living in Paris. He often comes to L'Attrape Théâtre to enjoy our theatrical shows. He presented me with a French version of ‘The Tale of Kieu’, which was translated by Nguyen Van Vinh and Nguyen Khac Vien. I was impressed so much by this work that I decided to bring the story to the stage. For me, this was a big and bold decision as I have little knowledge about Vietnamese culture and I hadn’t even visited Vietnam before.

Like many others projects I have worked on, the first thing to do was to thoroughly and seriously research about the story, from its author to the social context when it was written. The more I studied ‘The tale of Kieu’, the more interested in it I become. It is a fascinating story which covers so many cultures that I feel like I can travel through many Asian countries when I read it.

Your show marks the first time for ‘The Tale of Kieu’ have been adapted into the musical theatre. As the work was written centuries ago, did you face any difficulty during the production of the show?

As ‘Kim Van Kieu’ is a theatrical performance, I combined different art genres such as dance, opera and singing. I also worked with two Vietnamese musicians, Mai Thanh Son and Mai Thanh Nam, with a hope to blend Vietnamese contemporary culture into the show. In addition, I also blended Vietnamese and Western cultures by featuring Vietnamese and Western musical instruments on the stage together, such as violin, guitar, Vietnamese drum and ‘dan nguyet’ (Vietnamese two chord guitar).

I also faced certain difficulty in adapting the transcript from the original into musical show, which took us almost one year to complete. 

While talking about ‘The Tale of Kieu’, Vietnamese people will think of a play featuring old-styled costumes, but your show presented a fresh and modern approach to it. Can you tell us more about this?

I left the stage empty without any props but several musical instruments. I want the performers to show their best and develop their creativity. They had to travel through different space and time using their imagination. The audience will understand the story through two narrators. This is how I created a harmony between the old and modern cultural spaces. I want to help my audience to understand and get a touch into Vietnamese culture while enjoying a Vietnamese masterpiece.

Earlier, ‘Kim Van Kieu’ debuted successfully in Paris with five shows in June, 2017. In your opinion, what helped Paris audiences to understand such a story, which was set in the 16th century in Vietnam, a far-away country from them?

Obviously, there are clear cultural differences. From our cultural background, it is difficult for us to understand many details in Kieu’s life and successive incidents she encountered in her life, many of them being unbearable. My artists even got confused about the situation why Kieu had to sell herself into a marriage with a middle-aged man to save her father and younger brother from prison. However, my performers filled the gap in cultural difference in order to convey the author’s meditations and philosophical values of the Vietnamese work.

 

In my musical play, there is not only one but three artists playing the role of Kieu, who represent pure souls and beauty but have to encounter many tragedies in life. ‘The Tale of Kieu’ is a symbolic story, a door opening a whole new culture which helps us to meditate upon our lives.

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

Director Christophe Thiry and actors, actress at a press conference before the show 

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”
Entitled ‘Kim Van Kieu', the musical performance will feature professional opera singers and artists from Paris-based L'Attrape Théâtre 

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”
‘Tale of Kieu’ is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature 

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”
‘Tale of Kieu’ is widely regarded as the most significant work of Vietnamese literature 
French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

In 3,254 verses, written in luc bat (six–eight) meter, the poem recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman, who has to sacrifice herself to save her family 

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”
Directed by talented French director Christophe Thiry, the show offers the audience fresh experimental experiences by blending various genres of opera, pop, theatre play, and performances of musical instruments including violin, guitar and piano
French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”
Audiences are entertained with Vietnamese traditional music through performances of Vietnamese musicians Mai Thanh Son and Mai Thanh Nam

French artists perform masterpiece 'Tale of Kieu”

Director Christophe Thiry and actors, actresses express gratitude to audience after the show 

Hanoimoi/Nhan Dan/VNA

 
 

Other News

.
Interesting photos showcase Saigon traffic in 1989
Interesting photos showcase Saigon traffic in 1989
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/09/2020 

Elmar Reich, a Swiss tourist, captured a number of fascinating images of traffic in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) during his visit to the southern city in 1989.

Storm Noul makes landfall in central Vietnam
Storm Noul makes landfall in central Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  18/09/2020 

Storm Noul, the fifth to enter the East Sea this year, made landfall in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on September 18 morning, causing heavy downpours, strong winds and lightning.

Ta Hien Street busy again following lifted social distancing order
Ta Hien Street busy again following lifted social distancing order
TRAVELicon  18/09/2020 

After weeks of massive closure due to COVID-19, Ta Hien, Ma May and Luong Ngoc Quyen streets now reopen to welcome party animals.

Traditional toy-making village busy ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival
Traditional toy-making village busy ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/09/2020 

Several weeks before the Mid-Autumn Festival, Mr. Dong and his employees have had to stay up overnight to make 10,000 paper masks.

Glowing lanterns signal start of Mid-Autumn Festival in HCM City
Glowing lanterns signal start of Mid-Autumn Festival in HCM City
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/09/2020 

Numerous colourful lanterns can be seen lighting up Luong Nhu Hoc Street in District 5 of Ho Chi Minh City during the night, serving to attract plenty of visitors ahead of the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

Tours of Ninh Binh Province provide unique experiences for travelers
Tours of Ninh Binh Province provide unique experiences for travelers
TRAVELicon  15/09/2020 

Visitors to the northern province of Ninh Binh can take part in a range of unmissable experiences in order to truly discover the locality, including kayaking and visiting a local bear sanctuary.

Through the lens of history
Through the lens of history
SOCIETYicon  15/09/2020 

During Vietnam’s wars of resistance and its process of national rebuilding, reporters from the Vietnam News Agency travelled wherever needed to record historic moments as they unfolded.

Traditional Vietnamese dishes are made from clay
Traditional Vietnamese dishes are made from clay
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  12/09/2020 

Miniature models, including bowls of Pho, noodle soup, and bread, have gone on sale at a souvenir shop in Hanoi, proving to be popular among visitors due to their production from clay by a young girl.

Artworks of Vietnamese-born graffiti artist go on display in Hanoi
Artworks of Vietnamese-born graffiti artist go on display in Hanoi
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  11/09/2020 

Vietnamese French painter Cyril Kongo has opened his first gallery in Hanoi with the ambition of showcasing a range of graffiti pieces to local art lovers.

AMM 53: ASEAN ministerial meetings with US, Canada
AMM 53: ASEAN ministerial meetings with US, Canada
POLITICSicon  11/09/2020 

In the framework of the 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM 53), the ASEAN - US Ministerial Meeting and the ASEAN - Canada Ministerial Meeting were held online on September 10.

AIPA-41 holds second plenary session
AIPA-41 holds second plenary session
POLITICSicon  10/09/2020 

The secondary plenary session of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) took place in Hanoi on September 10.

Unofficial meeting of young parliamentarians of AIPA
Unofficial meeting of young parliamentarians of AIPA
POLITICSicon  10/09/2020 

An unofficial meeting of young parliamentarians of AIPA was held in Hanoi under the form of a video conference on September 8 within the framework of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41).

AIPA 41: Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA)
AIPA 41: Meeting of Women Parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA)
POLITICSicon  10/09/2020 

A meeting of women parliamentarians of AIPA (WAIPA), themed “The Role Of Women Parliamentarians In Securing Jobs and Income for Women Workers,” took place in Hanoi within the framework of the AIPA 41.

AMM-53, related meetings in photos
AMM-53, related meetings in photos
POLITICSicon  10/09/2020 

The 53rd ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM-53) and related meetings are organised in the form of video conference from September 9-12.

Life on Tay Con Linh Mountain
Life on Tay Con Linh Mountain
TRAVELicon  09/09/2020 

Tay Con Linh Mountain in Ha Giang Province is home to around 200 families of Co Lao ethnic people, a small group among the 54 ethnic peoples in Vietnam.

AIPA-41 opening ceremony in photos
AIPA-41 opening ceremony in photos
POLITICSicon  08/09/2020 

The 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) opened in a virtual format in Hanoi on September 8 themed Parliamentary Diplomacy for a Cohesive and Responsive ASEAN Community.

AIPA-41: AIPA-35 adopted many initiatives related to ASEAN community building
AIPA-41: AIPA-35 adopted many initiatives related to ASEAN community building
POLITICSicon  07/09/2020 

The 35th General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of ASEAN (AIPA-35) with the theme "Further strengthening parliamentary cooperation in ASEAN Community building" was held in Vientiane (Laos)  from September 14 - 20, 2014.

Bang Lang Stork Garden – largest bird sanctuary in Mekong Delta
Bang Lang Stork Garden – largest bird sanctuary in Mekong Delta
TRAVELicon  08/09/2020 

As one of the largest bird sanctuaries in the Mekong Delta, Bang Lang Stork Garden is an ecotourism destination that should not be missed when having the opportunity to visit Mekong delta province of Can Tho.

Vietnam triumphs in Tank Biathlon of 2020 Army Games
Vietnam triumphs in Tank Biathlon of 2020 Army Games
PHOTOSicon  05/09/2020 

The tank team of the Vietnam People’s Army triumphed at the final race of tank crews of the second division in the Tank Biathlon event of the 2020 International Army Games in the suburbs of Russia’s Moscow on September 4.

Hanoi metro project train to arrive next month for display
Hanoi metro project train to arrive next month for display
SOCIETYicon  04/09/2020 

A train designed for the Nhon-Hanoi Station metro route was sent from Dunkirk Port in France on September 2.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN