The Hanoitimes - Local and foreign visitors to Ho Chi Minh City have a chance to enjoy Vietnamese puppetry performances in an outdoor cultural exchange space for the first time.
The Vietnam Puppetry Festival officially opened on Nguyen Hue walking street, Ho Chi Minh City, on August 16 evening, local media reported.
Themed “Green dream”, the first festival of its kind in the country attracted many actors, actresses and artists from six theaters in the whole country.
They are Vietnam Puppetry Theater, Phuong Nam Art Theater, Hai Phong Puppetry Theater, Dong Nai Art Theater, Kite Theater, and the Soul Music and Performing Arts Academy.
The first Vietnam Puppetry Festival opens in HCMC. Photo: Nhandan.com.vn
This is the first time local and foreign visitors to Ho Chi Minh City have a chance to enjoy Vietnamese puppetry performances in an outdoor cultural exchange space for free. The festival will run from August 16 to 18.
During the festival, actors, actresses and artists from six theaters will be introducing to audiences many types of Vietnamese puppetry such as rode, hand, string, and machine, water puppetry. In addition, audiences have a chance to enjoy other activities include a street parade with puppetry characters, a circus, music, etc.
The festival will contribute to enriching cultural and recreational activities on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian street, according to Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Vuong Duy Bien.
He hoped that the festival would continue being held and become a tourist product and an art brand name, luring visitors to the Nguyen Hue walking street and Ho Chi Minh City as well.
On this occasion, more than 600 disadvantaged children and kids from child sponsorship centers in the city were invited to the festival and given scholarships.
Water puppetry originated in the Red River Delta in Vietnam’s north, where many towns and villages have communal ponds, which were used as the stage when the art form appeared around the 10th century. The villages of Thach That and Dao Thuc in Hanoi and Rach and Nguyen Xa in the nearby provinces of Nam Dinh and Thai Binh are some of the earliest known centers of water puppetry.
Traditionally, water puppetry performances portray the daily life of Vietnamese farmers (cultivating, tending buffalo, and catching fish), communal entertainment (swimming races and dragon dancing), or historical legends (like Le Loi returning the precious sword to the Golden Turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake), with the modest presentations appealing to audiences for centuries.