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Ballet Kieu to return to Saigon Opera House

By Bradley Winterton

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HCMC – The dance drama Ballet Kieu is set to return to the Saigon Opera House on March 23 and 24, courtesy of the HBSO’s ballet division.

The ballet is based on the 18th century Vietnamese writer Nguyen Du’s epic poem, The Tale of Kieu, which extends to 3,254 lines, divided into hundreds of short poems. It tells the tale of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented woman who has to sell herself into marriage to save her father and younger brother from prison. She is unaware that her middle-aged husband is in fact a pimp, and as a result is later forced into prostitution. This HBSO ballet version was first staged in 2020.

This ballet won a medal at the June 2021 National Dance and Music Festival in Buon Ma Thuot.

The production features hologram projection with 3D stereoscopic images, along with traditional Vietnamese music genres such as Ca Tru, Xam and Tuong. It also incorporates ethnic instruments such as the moon lute and the 16-string zither. Musicians Vu Viet Anh and Chinh Ba are responsible for the show’s music.

Veteran choreographer Nguyen Thi Tuyet Minh, an enthusiast for contemporary dance, will direct the show. On the occasion of the ballet’s premier performances, she said “My work focuses on the fate of women in feudal society, and their aspiration for love and happiness.”

The performances will begin at 8 p.m. Ticket prices range from VND550,000 to VND1,000,000 and are available from the usual outlets.

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