Project promotes traditional art genre

(VOVWORLD) - In the digital age, cai luong (reformed theatre) and many other traditional art forms have not received their due attention from the public, especially young people. The YUME Art Project in Ho Chi Minh City has launched a program called “Tiep buoc tram nam” (Follow the Century- Old Tradition) with the aim to bring cai luong back to youth culture.

The program includes two courses titled “Enjoy cai luong” and “Experience cai luong”. Both are free. Students between 9 and 19 years of age are prioritized. Dr. Dao Le Na, a lecturer from the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and co-founder of YUME, said renowned cai luong singers and playwrights will train students for 40 weeks. The participants will learn how to truly enjoy cai luong. Instead of organizing seminars to seek ways to make cai luong thrive again, dialogues with the youth will be held. Dr. Na said: “Along with the two courses, we organize several talk shows and forums. Remarkably, when the course concludes, students will put on a performance to show the audience what they have studied and what they have done.”

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Dr. Dao Le Na, lecturer of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities, and co-founder of YUME (Photo:

At the project launch ceremony, a number of young people have registered for courses. Le Ngoc Minh Thu, a 3rd grader of the Sao Viet Primary School, District 7, Ho Chi Minh City, amazed project members by her clear voice and self-confidence. Thu said she has fallen in love with cai luong. From the very first time she heard cai luong tunes, she started imitating them. Thu wants to attend a special class to become a professional cai luong artist in the future. “Today my mother took me here because I love cai luong. I’m interested in this folk art. Taking part in this class, I look forward to being able to perform on the stage,” Thu said.

Although not being in the program’s age range, 70-year-old writer Tran Quoc Toan, member of the Children Literature Department under the Ho Chi Minh City Writers’ Association, registered to audition. He proposed writing lyrics for cai luong courses. Toan said if he could join the program, he would realize his childhood dream.  “I want to join the class seriously because I want to know more about the folk art. This opens the door for writers and cai luong artists,” Toan said.

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Dr. Dao Le Na (first from left) at an event held at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities to introduce the Tiep Buoc Tram Nam (Follow in the Century-Old Tradition) to students (Photo: YUME Art Project)

People’s Artist and Doctor Bach Tuyet, who provides a wealth of inspiration for students and teaches in both courses, feels excited because the program has received so much community support. She said that although cai luong is an age-old art form, its lines and lyrics are close to life, which help it win the favor of audience. Tuyet, who has spent more than 60 years on the stage, said her art would help students learn more about the country’s culture and lifestyle. “Joining the project I have a chance to meet young people, who love cai luong, to know what they think about the folk art in the Industry 4.0 era. If cai luong artists work closely with young people, they will realize what the concept of cai luong in the new age will be. Doing that means cai luong will survive,” Tuyet said.