LIFE&STYLE A crack­ing night that just cries out for more

Viet Nam News - - FRONT PAGE -

HAØ NOÄI — So if you are an ex­pat liv­ing in Haø Noäi and HCM City with your fam­ily, Christ­mas is a big deal, and just around the cor­ner.

So what bet­ter way to cel­e­brate the fes­tive sea­son than tak­ing your lit­tle girl to her first

bal­let, just like you are liv­ing in Europe, Rus­sia or North Amer­ica.

This year, the Vieät Nam Opera and Bal­let (VNOB) casts a new re­make of the tra­di­tional show, which has be­come a sea­soned event in both big cities of Vieät Nam. A brand new take of the much-loved bal­let has a new con­cept and out­fit for the mag­i­cal per­for­mance on stage of the Haø Noäi Opera House.

New VNOB Di­rec­tor Traàn Ly Ly who took the job just a few months ago, chore­og­ra­phers Nguyeãn Hoàng Phong, Löu Thu Lan who starred as the Su­gar Plum in her pre­vi­ous role as the theatre’s prin­ci­pal dancer, and orches­tra con­duc­tor Ñoàng Quang Vinh all rep­re­sent a new gen­er­a­tion in per­form­ing arts of the coun­try.

The open­ing scene fea­tures a chil­dren’s world full of games and play­ful ac­tiv­i­ties hap­pen­ing in the au­di­to­rium. The cur­tain opened and a fes­tive at­mos­phere filled the room.

You may dis­agree that Chris­mas is not a tra­di­tional hol­i­day in Vieät Nam, but grad­u­ally, the com­mer­cial dec­o­ra­tions in shop­ping malls in big cities make peo­ple feel like they are part of the cel­e­bra­tion.

Yet the 2018 team opted to change what was sup­posed to be the Christ­mas tree on stage for a tree with con­i­cal hats all sizes and colours with Hoäi An lanterns were drop­ping from the ceil­ing.

They had made a mid- 19th cen­tury story by Ger­man Au­thor E.T.A. Hoffman rel­e­vant to Viet­namese au­di­ence. Though chil­dren ev­ery­where love to see magic tak­ing place on a spe­cial oc­ca­sion, some real-life stage set­ting even make them be­lieve in what they saw.

Cos­tumes of the first act were also adapted from the world-fa­mous Viet­namese with the ro­man­tic length tu­tus, which were so much fun to watch.

It was ac­tu­ally not new in the world, where clas­si­cal bal­let and opera get re­newed in stage set­tings and cos­tumes and a cer­tain level of adap­ta­tion to the orig­i­nal li­bretto.

The corps de bal­let of VNOB made the ma­jor danc­ing part, but the in­vited young stu­dents from Vieät Nam Dance School in­fused young and vi­brant colours to the stage.

The young girl Clara has been given a Viet­namese name Quyønh Lan, star­ring bal­le­rina Thu Haèng, Su­gar Plum fairy star­ing bal­le­rina Thu Hueä, the Prince – by Ñaøm Haøn Giang.

Ac­com­pa­nied by their par­ents, chil­dren made up half of the Opera House, laugh­ing at the jolly acts dur­ing the first act and dropped their jaws in the sec­ond act to see fairies in blue tutu dance un­der fall­ing snow.

One of the chal­lenges of this bal­let is to keep adult view­ers at­ten­tion and the team suc­ceeded. VNOB Di­rec­tor Traàn Ly Ly was trained in bal­let, but she has been ac­tive as chore­og­ra­pher in many con­tem­po­rary dance shows.

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