Hanoi Cheo theater

(VOVworld)- Hanoi is the cradle of several genres of traditional arts including Cheo or traditional opera. The Hanoi Cheo Theater has, over the years, played an important role in preserving and promoting the art. The theater is celebrating its 60th founding anniversary this year.

Hanoi Cheo theater - ảnh 1

Cheo is a form of popular theatre in the Red River delta of Vietnam that has its roots in ancient village festivals. It consists of folk songs with pantomime, instrumental music and dances, combined with instructive or interpretive sketches dealing with stories from legends, poetry, history and daily life, plus acrobatic scenes and magic. Cheo tells tales of chiefs, heroes and lovely maidens and offers an eclectic mix of romance, tragedy and comedy. Since it was founded 60 years ago, the Hanoi Cheo Theater has attracted many famous artists who have produced several special plays such as “ Quan am thi kinh” , “Luu Binh Duong Le”, “Tu Thuc”, “Tam Cam”, “Blond Silk”, and “Sita”. The theater has restored ancient plays and revised scripts to accommodate modern audiences. One of 16 Cheo theaters in the country, the Hanoi Cheo Theater is the most popular. Emeritus Artist Thuy Mui is Director of the Hanoi Cheo Theater says: "We have improved the quality of the shows by upgrading our facility and décor. We have tried to make our stage modern and beautiful to inspire audiences".

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The theater has created mini stages to bring audiences, especially foreigners, closer to the art. Visitors to Hanoi can get a ticket to see a Cheo play either at 15 Nguyen Dinh Chieu street or at Hoan Kiem Lake’s Ngoc Son temple. With an hour of songs and dances, the artists transport audiences back to Vietnam’s ancient legends.

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“Quan Am Thi Kinh” is one of Vietnam’s most popular Cheo plays, reflecting the Buddhist culture and Vietnamese tradition. The play has been performed many times. Each time it leaves a different impression on audience. For foreign audiences, who don’t know Vietnamese, the action and music of Cheo plays helps them learn about Vietnamese people’s lives. In recent years, Cheo stage, instruments and costumes have been reformed to make the Cheo art more assessable to domestic and foreign audiences. Many plays have been adapted from foreign stories to create a fresh style for Cheo. In an effort to preserve and promote Cheo traditional opera, the Hanoi Cheo Theater has brought the plays to schools. "In addition to involving famous artists in the play to attract audiences, we also brought our shows to schools to help them understand this traditional art. Sometimes we’ve had to subsidize these shows. We hope that in the next 5 or 10 years, the children will become regular Cheo theatre-goers", said Emeritus Quoc Anh, Deputy Director of the Theater..
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Cheo traditional opera enriches Vietnamese culture and diversifies Hanoi tourism.

To Tuan