Jul 27, 2010

Historic dances to help Hanoi mark birthday

An extravaganza featuring traditional dances from the old capital city will be held in Hanoi in October to celebrate the city's 1,000th anniversary.

The two-hour performance is being staged by People's Artist Chu Thuy Quynh, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Dancers' Association, and Nguyen Van Bich, Chairman of the Hanoi Association of Dance Artists.

Hanoi has nearly 100 traditional dances closely linked with the city's history, including folk, royal and religious dances, Bich said. He expected that many people would enjoy the performance because the dances would help them understand more about the history, attitudes and spiritual lives of the Thang Long people.

Under the theme Opening the Thang Long Festival – Finding Old Marks, the performance will feature over 500 professional and amateur dancers from the Hanoi Association of Dance Artists.

The first part of the show will feature flames rising from mountains and hills and then an image of the Hong (Red) River, symbolising the harmony between fire and water.

The second part will feature a Giao Long dance from Le Mat Village in Long Bien District and will recount a legend of a young farmer who saved a princess from a serpent and was rewarded with the control of 13 regions, corresponding to the modern wards of Ba Dinh District.

In the Luc Cung dance, monks from Minh Quang Pagoda in Dong Da District will offer Buddha six items, including incense, flowers, fruit, lanterns, tea and food, as a prayer for happiness and peace.

For the Bai Bong dance, reflecting the lives of farmers from Phu Nhieu Village in Phu Xuyen District, dancers will sport a special hat with a cotton ball glued on top – which explains the name of the dance. In Vietnamese, bong means cotton and bai means a way of doing things.

Bong, the comic dance features men cross-dressing in women's traditional attire, including kerchiefs on their heads, embroidered shoes, colourful ribbons backs, and bamboo fans in their hands. They will wear plastic balls that have been cut in half and stuffed with cotton as fake breasts.

The Giai Oan dance, performed by monks of Dao Xuyen Pagoda in Long Bien District, will pray for martyrs, ancestors and souls departed from this life to reach a serene and pure land.

The extravaganza will conclude with dancers waving flags, dragons and weapons in a piece entitled Celebrating the Victory of Thang Long.

The performance will take place on October 3 at Hanoi's King Ly Thai To Square.

(Source: VNA)

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