“Cheo” performances become Hanoians’ weekend amusement

(VOVWORLD) - Hanoians have been enticed by famous “Cheo” (traditional Vietnamese opera) performances every Saturday night since June. These performances, sometimes including “Chau van” - a highly rhythmic form of singing that often accompanies “Hau dong” (mediumship) ritualsare staged by the Hanoi Cheo Theater at the Dai Nam Theater, No.89 Hue street, to rebuild public interest in this traditional art genre.

“Quan Am Thi Kinh” (Goddess of Mercy), a story about the transcendental journey of a young, fair lady to her Buddhahood, is perhaps the most famous repertoire of classical Cheo plays. “Quan Am Thi Kinh” is one of a wide range of prize-winning Cheo works which have been on stage alternatively in Hanoi’s Saturday Night program since June.

“Cheo” performances become Hanoians’ weekend amusement - ảnh 1 A scene taken from the "Sita" play featuring a heart-touching story about loyaly

Emeritus Artist Thu Huyen, Vice Director of the Hanoi Cheo Theater, said: “We often update the schedule on the Theatre’s facebook page and website so audiences can choose the plays of their interest. We’re doing our best to hold regular performances”.

The show features many famous Cheo artists, such as People’s Artists Thuy Mui and Quoc Anh and Emeritus Artists Thu Huyen, Minh  Nhan, Thanh Hien, and Ngoc Anh, who told VOV: “The ‘Hanoi’s Saturday night’ program has welcomed a large audience and their positive feedback. We have recently included a recreation of the trance ritual, which has received strong public support”.

“Cheo” performances become Hanoians’ weekend amusement - ảnh 2 A scene taken from the program Hanoi's Saturday Night

Joining well-known Cheo artists in “Hanoi’s Saturday night” are also some very young artists. Quoc Phong, one of them, said: “I’m a young artist with a passion for folk genres, particularly ‘Cheo’. I’m happy to perform ancient ‘Cheo’ plays in the ‘Hanoi’s Saturday Night’ program. A big hand of applause after every show  proves the public interest in ‘Cheo’”.

The Hanoi Cheo Theatre began to prepare plays, costumes, and props for its “Hanoi’s Saturday Night” shows at early 2017. According to Emeritus Artist Thu Huyen, all artists are very excited to be on stage. Each ancient drama is performed by both well-known and young artists as a way to promote the art through generations. Huyen said: “All artists practice very hard for their performances. We are totally devoted to ‘Cheo’ art and specifically the ‘Hanoi’s Saturday Night’ program’.

In addition to this month-long program, the club of the Hanoi Cheo Theatre also stages excerpts of famous “Cheo” dramas at least once a month, which enables audiences to talk with artists and even sing with them on stage to better understand the traditional art. 

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