Hanoi to host national circus gala
The National Circus Gala 2012 entitled ‘A Rendezvous of Circus Talents’, will take place at the Central Circus Theatre in Hanoi on April 21-22, the Vietnam Circus Federation announced yesterday.
The event, marking World Circus Day (April 21), is a special gift for the capital’s younger audiences to commemorate the 37th anniversary of the Liberation of South Vietnam (April 30) and May Day.
At this year’s gala, circus fans will be entertained by performances that won prizes at domestic and international circus festivals, including the ‘Du bay sieu nhan’ (Superman Swing), ‘De kiem’ (Balancing on a high wire with a Sword) act, ‘Patin’ (Roller Skating) and ‘Day doc doi’ (Rope Recoil) performance.
The highlights of the event include the ‘Ao thuat quoc te’ (International Magic) act that will surprise audiences with skillful juggling, and the amazing performances in the ‘Dai hoi xiec thu’ (Animal Circus Festival).
Tickets are available at the Central Circus, 67-69 Tran Nhan Tong Street, Hanoi and via the website dongdoshow.com.
Fashion week to promote local designs
Outfits for spring and summer by Vietnamese designers will be put on show on the evening of April 21 during the Hanoi Fashion Week.
The week is being organized to promote Vietnamese designs and outfits for women, and the fashion industry in general, according to designer Nguyen Cao Bang Tam, head of the organizing board.
“The fashion week is a rendezvous for designers to exchange ideas and show their creation,” she said. “It’s also an attractive cultural event for fashion lovers.”
Nearly 20 trademarks with hundreds of outfits were paraded on the evening of April 20 at the Grand Plaza, 117 Tran Duy Hung Street, Hanoi. Among the models are Thu Ha (Top 10 Miss Vietnam 2010), Hong Nhung (Top 10 Miss Vietnam 2008) and Ha Hoang Anh (Miss Ao Dai at Miss World Vietnamese).
Fashionistas will see spring and summer season designs by Do Trinh Hoai Nam, Xuan Thu and Giao Linh, as well as trademarks such as Alcado, Woman Rock, Camello and Mittex.
Designer Linh will introduce a contemporary-classic collection named Paint Me Beautiful with canvas patterns and soft materials such as silk and lace.
Designers of Alcado will feature Summer’s Colours.
The stage and catwalk would be decorated in a simple and modern style with white as the major colour, said Tam.
400 year-old tree recognized as national heritage
A nearly 400 year-old cluster fig tree in the northern midland province of Phu Tho is the first to become a Vietnam Heritage Tree.
A recognition ceremony was jointly held by the Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) and the local authorities of Xuan Anh commune, Ha Hoa district, on April 20.
The tree measures 5.6m in circumference, 1.65m in diameter and is more than 3m high. It has a root in the shape of a dragon drinking water.
Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Sinh, Chairman of VACNE, said that central and local authorities are now paying special attention to preserving ancient trees in Vietnam.
So far, the VACNE has received profile submissions of more than 500 trees from 28 provinces across the country. 155 of them fulfil all the requirements set by the Vietnam Heritage Tree Council.
Vietnamese culture festival in Tula
Vietnamese students who are studying at Tula National Teachers College, Russia, has held a large festival to celebrate Southern Vietnam Liberation Day and May Day.
The festival opened on April 17 with an exhibition and an art show.
Present at the opening ceremony were lecturers from the Russian college, representatives of the Associations of Vietnamese people and Vietnamese business in Tula, as well as Vietnamese students in Tula.
The exhibition featured the miniature models of Vietnamese images such as the Temple of Literature (Van Mieu), lotus flowers, conic hats, old-style bicycles, and calligraphy.
Meanwhile, the art show was jointly performed by Vietnamese and foreign students.
Talent contest’s finalist accused of copyright violation
A finalist from Vietnam’s Got Talent’s first season has been accused of violating the copyright of a musical instrument he used to perform during the contest.
At the contest’s semi-final on April 15, contestant Kieu Van Thanh impressed audiences and the jury with a performance with his home-made instruments, and won a ticket to the final night with the highest numbers of audience votes.
However, on April 19, local artist Mai Dinh Toi, who has been recognized by the Vietnamese Records Book Center for playing with his hand-made musical instruments, has told Tuoi Tre that Thanh copied his idea of the instrument made from a water pipe.
“I want the show’s organizers to stop Thanh from playing a water pipe instrument in the finale to protect my creation’s copyright,” Toi said.
For his part, Thanh said that he has been creating musical instruments with everyday objects such as water pipes and tea boxes for a long time.
“People have asked me if I’m a student of artist Mai Dinh Toi, but actually I don’t know him well and I haven’t had a chance to see him perform,” Thanh shared. “I only made the instrument for my personal hobby.”
According to Ta Quang Minh, head of the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam, it is hard to decide if Thanh violated the copyright, since artist Mai Dinh Toi has not made any copyright registration for his creation.
“To certificate a copyright, we have to know what it is and consider if it has enough conditions to be registered. Not every single item can get a copyright registration,” he added.
Concert set to sway capital
Capital artists will treat music lovers to a feast of Vietnamese and international melodies at Melia Hotel, 44 Ly Thuong Kiet Street at 8pm tomorrow.
The Hope Choir, including young musicians from the Viet Nam National Academy of Music and the Nguyen Dinh Chieu school for the vision-impaired, will perform local and world folk songs including Hoi Hoa Bong (Flower Festival), Ly Ngua O (The Black Horse), Alloutte of France, A Smile of Russia and Glory Halleluja of the US.
The traditional instrument ensemble of vision-impaired musicians will amaze audiences with pieces from countries such as Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan and South Africa.
Concert lovers will also have the chance to enjoy a performance by soprano Xuan Thanh, who won the special prize at the Tchaikovsky Singing Competition in Russia in 1986. She is scheduled to sing Russia, My Beloved Motherland, Evening in the Harbour and the Youth Hymm.
Sandwiched between songs, ballet extracts from the Nutcracker and Swan Lake will be performed by Viet Nam’s renowned ballet duo Cao Chi Thanh and Chuc Quynh.
Under the baton of Maestro Ton That Triem, the concert is organised in response to the Day of the Disabled, which fell on Wednesday.
With support from the Luxembourg Embassy, Kuwait Ambassador and NGOs from the US, Germany, Australia and Belgium, the performance entrance is free.
Tickets can be obtained at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School, 21 Lac Trung or via the artistic director at (04)37752666.
Photovoice exhibition in Hanoi
An on-going photo exhibition featuring pictures of ethnic minority cultures at Ly Thai To Park, near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi has attracted many spectators, including foreigners.
Titled “My Culture – Conversations in Open Spaces,” the exhibition showcases 150 outstanding photographs taken by ethnic people who have never taken a picture of their own daily life before.
The groups participating in the exhibition include the Si Hmong, Dao, Black H’mong, Red Dao, Muong, Thai, Pa Co, Van Kieu and Khmer.
“Since joining this project, I’ve come to know more about the culture of my own ethnic group, such as the rare herbal prescriptions or the meaning of the patterns embroidered on our clothes,” said Ly Thi Diu, 19, the youngest participant from the Dao minority.
The exhibited photos have received positive responses from visitors. Some were surprised while others were moved by what they saw.
“The exhibition shows how beautiful the minority groups in our country are,” a visitor wrote.
The exhibition runs until April 22.
A “United Nations” class for lacquer art lovers
Their shared interest in Vietnamese lacquer painting has given birth to a multi-national classroom. One is a lecturer with a Master’s degree in lacquer painting at Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts, the other organizer a lawyer from Germany. Both are captivated by Vietnam’s spectacular lacquer art.
It was one April morning in Hanoi and the weather was baking hot. Yet, in a room that was packed with lacquer paintings and students of all skin colors and nationalities, all the electric fans were turned off. Deeply absorbed in their work, none of them seemed to be bothered by the heat.
Those who have grasped the basic techniques were either sketching or meticulously applying colors to their work layer by layer, while the beginners were learning their first lessons from scratch. Patiently yet briskly, the Vietnamese teacher was weaving his way among the different groups, juggling many languages at the same time, Vietnamese, English, and French, to be able to attend to all of their queries.
When the short break came, I took Tran Anh Tuan, the Vietnamese teacher, aside for a chat. The artist said that he had conceived the idea of a lacquer painting class long ago, but it was only when he met one special student, Elke Riter, a German lawyer with a peculiar passion in Vietnamese lacquer art, that he was given the needed push to turn his idea into reality.
At first, both teacher and student had to labor hard, days and nights, to launch an exhibition of lacquer paintings, which not only serve as exhibition items but also as reference materials for their future students. “Squatting” in a close friend’s house, whose yard was under shady trees and large enough for hanging their works, they started their lacquer painting class.
Both Anh Tuan and Elke Riter were taken aback by number of foreign expats interested in attending their class. Coming from countries all over the world, each of them has a special reason for wanting to learn about the Vietnamese lacquer art. Sohah, following her husband to Vietnam because of his work, wanted to perfect her lacquer-making techniques. Khang, a young tour guide, was held spellbound by the “distinctiveness and beauty” of lacquer.
Classes meet on weekdays, but every Wednesday, the adults stay home to make way for the kids. Also of all skin colors and nationalities and speaking different languages, the children would crawl on the floor, applying themselves to their own paintings. They could toy with any materials that pleased them, from lacquer, oil paint, water color to synthetic color. The teacher wanted to offer a fun and relaxing space for his little students to exercise their artistic bent, without any restraint on the young minds.
Each time he gives a lesson in his class, he becomes more assured about the future of Vietnam’s lacquer art, and less disturbed by the small number of three or four students taking his lacquer courses in some universities of fine arts.
Departing from his family’s pedagogical tradition to venture into the world of lacquer art at a time when this original Vietnamese art was overshadowed by many new trends and the market forces, Anh Tuan is never swayed from his career path.
Passionately and creatively, he would apply new engraving and embossing techniques to his works, grabbing the viewers’ attention with their singular colors, lining, shaping and ideas.
His passion will not be satisfied by holding a classroom in lacquer painting only. His next step is to open more in-depth courses in the art of lacquer. For example, he plans to organize “field-trips” to craft villages in the North, which for hundreds of years have supplied the essential materials for Vietnamese lacquer art such as arca shells, clam shells, and gold and silver sheets.
It seems the journey of the 39-year-old artist will take him to many more interesting destinations ahead.
Bac Ninh receives photos of King Ly Thai To’ woodblock
The northern province of Bac Ninh recently received photographs of the woodblock containing the text of King Ly Thai To’s ‘Chieu Doi Do’ (Royal Edict for Moving the Capital) from National Archives Centre IV, under the National Archive Department.
The woodblock was created written in the spring of 1010 to begin the transfer of the Dai Co Viet (ancient Vietnam) capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Dai La (Hanoi). It was discovered by workers in National Archives Centre IV before the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi.
The woodblock, written in 214 Chinese ideograms, is the oldest known woodblock text of ‘Chieu Doi Do’. It is a part of the ‘Dai Viet su ky toan thu’ (Complete Annals of Dai Viet) which is considered the most important and comprehensive book about the history of Vietnam from the 13th century to the 17th century.
The National Archives Centre IV presented Bac Ninh province with two series of photographs of the woodblock and the print taken from it, as well as the translation of King Ly Thai To’s ‘Chieu Doi Do’.
One series of photos was offered to the Do Temple for the Ly dynasty kings in Bac Ninh province and one will be displayed at the provincial museum. The photos aim to inspire national pride, educate younger generations about patriotic traditions and promote Vietnamese history and culture to international visitors.
‘Take Away Shows’ coming to town
Following a journey to Hanoi, the La Blogotheque bandwagon will present 17 short films belonging to the ‘Take Away Shows’ series to the public in HCMC tonight, VietnamPlus reports.
In 2006, Chryde, the project’s founder, and French filmmaker Vincent Moon began jointly producing a series of videos called ‘Take Away Shows’ that have been launched in a number of countries.
With simple filming equipment, the duo traveled around Paris and recorded the images of any bands or artists they came across.
What makes ‘Take Away Shows’ unique is the sudden but natural presence of music combined with the films made in a guerrilla filmmaking style. This aspect remains unchanged even though the scheme has gone worldwide.
There are at least 300 performances recorded with the participation of Arcade Fire (Canada), Fleet Foxes (the U.S.) and Sigur Ros (Ireland) among others.
Screening, which will begin at 8 p.m. at Cafe Thu Bay, 128 Hai Ba Trung Street in District 1, is co-organized by The Onion Cellar and Hanoi Doclab.
Hosts win Binh Thuan boat race
Binh Thuan’s traditional boat race wrapped up on Thursday afternoon on Ca Ty River in Phan Thiet City with the hosts winning the trophy.
The event, which marked the 37th anniversary of the liberation of Binh Thuan, saw the participation of six teams from Binh
Duong, Hau Giang, Can Tho, An Giang and Kien Giang and of course the hosts.
After three hours of fierce competition, Binh Thuan edged ahead of second and third-placed Kien Giang and Hau Giang.
Primary kids net awards in Toyota contest
Eighty-six prizes were handed out for Toyota Vietnam’s ‘Dream safety car drawing’ competition at the National Traffic Safety Contest for primary pupils in the school year 2011-2012.
The event was organized at Giang Vo Exhibition Center, Hanoi last week by Toyota Vietnam Foundation in cooperation with the Ministry of Education & Training and National Traffic Safety Committee.
The competition was open to primary pupils from grade 1-5 nationwide. The five best pictures for pupils aged under ten and five best of those aged 10-12 years old in the national contest will be selected for the worldwide contest.
The ten winners and a guardian will be invited to attend the award ceremony and a tour of Japan in August.
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