IDECAF holds weekly ‘cai luong’ shows for foreigners

The Institute of Cultural Exchange With France (IDECAF) in Ho Chi Minh City is set to hold “cai luong” (southern traditional songs and performance) for foreigners every Tuesday, starting Jan 7, 2014.


Classic “cai luong” plays will be performed in whole versions or excerpts at 31 Thai Van Lung, district 1. The plays’ plot will be translated into English and handed out to foreign audiences in leaflets to help them get some ideas what the stories are about.

The first show, “The good olden days”, to be given at 8pm on Jan 7, 2014, will feature excerpts of four well-loved plays “Tieng trong Me Linh” (The Me Linh drum sounds), “Duong Quy Phi” (A king’s powerful wife), “Nua doi huong phan” (A prostitute’s life story) and “Ben cau det lua” (Weaving silk on the bridge).

“Cai luong” performances for kids will also be held on the morning of every Sunday, with the first show taking place at 9g30am on Jan 5. Tickets are sold for VND80,000 (US$3.8).

In recent years, local “cai luong” artists have made tremendous efforts to revive local audiences’ waning interest in the genre by adding originality and freshness to their works and fusing the diametrically different genres such as folk songs and electronic music or “cai luong” plays with movie effects.

Efforts have also been made to promote the genre to the world. Earlier this month, “don ca tai tu” (southern folk music), which is closely related to “cai luong”, won the UNESCO recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.