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Shapes of Sounds offers new folk arts performances

The Voice of Ho Chi Minh City People (VOH) has launched a special art project offering folk music, dance and singing performances this month as part of its efforts to preserve and introduce Vietnamese traditional arts and culture to residents and visitors.

The project, called Shapes of Sounds – Dang hinh am vang, offers different performances of folk arts originating from the northern, central and southern regions. The performances are staged by talented artists of leading art schools, art troupes and theatres in HCM City.

Each show — featuring folk songs and dances, and musical pieces - is directed and produced by veteran artists, musicians and cultural researchers.

The performers are accompanied by Vietnamese music played by a symphony orchestra and folk music instrumentalists in tranh (Vietnamese zither), sao (flute), bau (Vietnamese monochord) and nguyet (two-stringed long neck moon flute).

The project, Shapes of Sounds - Dang hinh am vang, offers a series of shows featuring cai luong (reformed opera), the south’s traditional music begun 100 years ago.

The highlighted show is Da Co Hoai Lang (Night Drumbeats Cause Longing for Absent Husband). It features cai luong stars of the Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres.

The show was named after the famous vong co (nostalgic tunes) song written in 1919 by well-known musician Cao Van Lau of Bac Lieu province, who is recognised as a guru of cai luong theatre.

The song tells of the love, anguish and pride of a young woman watching her husband leave to fight for the country.

Vong co songs are sung by southern farmers after working in the fields. The songs feature the feeling, dreams and hopes of people. They are often used in cai luong.

The first show of Shapes of Sounds - Dang hinh am vang is expected to be staged regularly at the VOH Theatre.