Sunday , May 26 2024

Việt Nam set to become destination of world’s performing arts


Traditional Chăm dance performed by Vietnamese artists during the first International Performing Arts Festival. Photo

HÀ NỘI Việt Nam aims to become a prestigious world destination of performing arts, said renowned Vietnamese festival and theatre director Lê Quý Dương at a meeting reflecting on the first International Performing Arts Festival recently held in Phan Thiết City in the central city of Bình Thuận.

The meeting gathered many famed festival and theatre specialists, including Professor Chiwoon Ahn from the Hosea University, South Korea; Colombian actor and producer Alvaro Franco Rodríguez; theatre lecturer and programme director at AKT-ZENT World Theatre Training Institute-ITI research centre, Christine Schmalor; Dr Israfil Shasheen from University of Dhaka; Bangladeshi actress and model Kantam Hasan from Bangladesh, among others.

The first International Performing Arts Festival, themed Connecting Creativity, took place in Phan Thiết City from December 8-10. Produced and staged exclusively under the directorship of Lê Quý Dương, it featured performances by over 300 artists from seven international and Vietnamese art troupes, in addition to over 10 independent young artist groups, among others.

Festival-goers had the chance to attend various artistic performances such as street shows, outdoor concerts or parades. The three-day event also included an international symposium on the theme “Building Phan Thiết as a Centre for International Performing Arts Education and Training” and two workshops on performing arts skills.

According to Bùi Thế Nhân, the Director of the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the first-ever International Performing Arts Festival in 2023 in Việt Nam aimed to enhance the cultural life of the people and contribute to the development of culture and tourism within Bình Thuận’s integration and sustainable development.

The festival created opportunities for local residents and artists to exchange and embrace international culture and arts, especially the field of performing arts.

It also aimed to introduce the unique cultural identity and artistic essence of the province and Việt Nam to domestic and international tourists, he said.

Professor Tobias Biancone, Director General of the International of Theatre Institute, speaks at the first International Performing Arts Festival. Photo

Professor Tobias Biancone, Director General of the International of Theatre Institute, expressed confidence the event would become one of the leading performing arts festivals of the world.

“I am sure that through the continuance of the festival, Phan Thiết and Bình Thuận will be a new touristic and cultural destination for Performing Arts professionals and Performing Arts lovers from all over the world,” he said.

The first International Performing Arts Festival has been a highlight in Bình Thuận’s National Tourism Year, leaving positive impressions on both locals and international tourists. 

It has laid the foundation for the province and Việt Nam in general to become a new destination for tourism and cultural arts, specifically in the field of performing arts.

The idea for a festival of performing arts has been nurtured by director Dương since 2014. Besides the goal of introducing Việt Nam’s tradition and culture, it also aims to create a space for cultural connection, thereby improving collaboration between nations and bridging cultural gaps in a world facing many crises.

Director Lê Quý Dương. Photo courtesy of Minh Giang

“It is expected that the International Performing Arts Festival will be held biennially, contributing to laying the foundation for Việt Nam to become a reputable destination for the world of performing arts,” he noted.

Suggesting measures to build the Vietnamese brand in performing arts, Dr Shaheen believed that Việt Nam should organise more large-scale art festivals.

With the ability to integrate diverse forms of artistic expression, attract a large number of participants, and create significant impact, art festivals can offer new perspectives on art, allowing individuals to experience and benefit from new modes of expression, he said.

Colombian actor and art producer Rodríguez recommended that Vietnamese festivals should get more people, particularly the youth, involved in the activities, gaining more investment among young generations.

“Additionally, it is important to promote public-private partnerships, where both the government and private enterprises collaborate and invest together in the development of the arts,” he added.

Director Schmalor also suggested that Việt Nam should invest in future artists and learn from international experiences through arts corporations and dialogues. Meanwhile, Bangladeshi actress Hasan hoped to have more traditional performances integrated into the festivals in the future.

Director Lê Quý Dương is known as the “wizard of festivals” as he has created many memorable programmes including Huế Festival, Coconut Festival (Bến Tre), International Fireworks Festival (Đà Nẵng), Nha Trang Sea Festival and most recently, Ninh Bình Festival and the Hanoi Tourism Áo Dài Festival.

He graduated as a theatre director from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Australia, and as a film director from Los Angeles Film School. He has received many prestigious domestic and international awards like Winston Churchill award for the play The Spring Prayer. 

He is a founding member of the Asia Pacific Bond of Theatre Schools (APB), member of the Executive Committee of the World Performing Arts Association, and president of UNESCO’s International Festival Forum (IFF) and International Theatre Institute (ITI). VNS


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