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