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Ballet Kieu to be staged at HCM City Opera House

The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will stage Ballet Kieu at the Opera House on May 13 and 14.

The ballet is based on Truyen Kieu (The Tale of Kieu), the 18th century poetic masterpiece by great poet Nguyen Du (1765-1820).

Truyen Kieu recounts the life, trials and tribulations of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman who sacrificed herself to save her family.

The dance piece was written by celebrated choreographer Tuyet Minh in 2018. She is also the ballet’s director.

Minh said her work did not feature the whole story of Nguyen Du’s work. “My work highlights the fate of women in feudal society and their aspiration for love and happiness,” she said.

“I want to bring audiences to experience Kieu’s happiness and sweetness as well as her extreme sorrows and challenges.”

Minh, a pioneer in popularising contemporary dance, has written, directed and choreographed 14 ballets and contemporary dances such as Con Tao Xoay (The Spinning Top) and Vo Chong A Phu (A Phu and His Wife).

Minh invited choreographer Nguyen Phuc Hung to co-create the choreography for the ballet.

Hung, a graduate in choreography of Fontys Dance Academy in the Netherlands, is general director in charge of HBSO's programmes. He has choreographed several contemporary dances such as Nhung Manh Ghep Cua Giac Mo (Dream Puzzles), Cham Tay Vao Qua Khu (Touching the Past), Di Qua Tinh Yeu (Gone Through Love), and Falling Angels.

Musicians Viet Anh and Chinh Ba are in charge of music for the show.

Anh, who was musically trained in New Zealand, is known for his instrumental works, including Spring Prayer Suite for orchestra and choir, Vo De Cam (Untitled Instrument), Truong Son Suite and Chan Troi (Horizon), while Chinh Ba is an independent performance artist currently based in Hoi An, experimenting across a range of poetry, art, sound and music.

The performance will feature Vietnam’s leading dancers such as Meritorious artists Tran Hoang Yen, Ho Phi Diep and Dam Duc Nhuan.

Young dancers Kim Tuyen, Khang Ninh and Sung A Lung, and HBSO dancers will be featured as well.

Ballet Kieu was first staged in HCM City and Hanoi in 2020, and received a warm welcome from critics and audiences.

The work won the excellence award at the National Dance and Music Festival in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak in June 2022.

The Ballet Kieu’s performance will begin at 8pm at 7 Lam Son Square in District 1. Tickets are available at the venue and