Rock band stages new songs in first liveshow

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The Hanoitimes - ​The progressive rock band Ngu Cung (Pentatonic) will debut songs from their new album Cao Nguyen Da (Rock Plateau) on Friday at the Giang Vo Exhibition Centre in their first-ever live show. Rock Plateau is the Ha Noi-based band's second album, following 360,000 Days, released in 2009 to celebrate the city's 1,000th anniversary. Since its 2007 fouding, Pentatonic has been a fresh sound in the rock scene because of its unique songs inspired by ethnic minority culture, and its ability to creatively mix ethnic minority instruments with traditional rock ones. Both albums include songs that fuse traditional music from northwestern ethnic minority groups with rock. Using the ken moi (lip lute), popular among Mong men, the band recalls the soulful, mountainous region in its songs Goi Tinh (Love Calling) and Huyen Thoai Nguoi Con Gai Mong (Legend of the Mong Girls). The song Rock Plateau 1 praises the determination and endurance of the people living in the rocky region. … [Read more...]

Social News 10/9

Gang sentenced to prison The HCM City People's Court yesterday sentenced the owner of a massage parlor to 12 years in prison for illegally detaining a total of 73 women at a local chain of unlicensed massage parlors after a two-day trial. Phan Cao Tri, 41, the owner of Tan Hoang Phat massage parlors, was sentenced to 12 years for "illegally detaining people" and "extorting people's properties." His accomplices were also given prison sentences for "illegally detaining people". Phan Viet Hau, 29, was sentenced to 10 years in jail; and Phan Quoc Cuong, 37, to nine years. Nguyen Minh Phuong received a three-year sentence, and Nguyen Hoai Nhanh, a one-year sentence. … [Read more...]

Central city’s iconic bridge ‘on fire’ during Hue Festival

At 7:30pm last night, on the background of the song "La Narche", artists from France's "Carabosse" fire installation art troupe, began to lit up almost 4,000 candles on the bridge, turning it into a huge fire strip.

Truong Tien Bridge, one of Hue's icons, was stunningly lit up with some 4,000 candles in a spectacular fire installation performance by a foreign troupe last night, Apr 18, to the delight of some thousand domestic and international tourists. With the flickering fire, the bridge cast its shadows over the city's iconic Huong river. Locals and tourists alike flocked to the streets near the bridge, trying to get the best view of the 'fiery' bridge. They could also stroll beneath the fire and look up to admire French artist Sébastien Laval's 62 photos featuring Vietnam's ethnic minority communities. The photos, hung over the bridge, required that spectators look up, which is indicative of a change in people's attitudes towards ethnic people from oblivion to recognition and respect. "Carabosse" troupe first joined the Hue Festival in 2012, when they lit up the Royal Citadel. The performance will be held once more at 7.30pm tomorrow, Apr 20, and will provide a spectacular … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s Hue Festival holds foreign visitors spellbound

Among well over 49,000 tourists, including some 21,600 foreigners, who have flocked to Hue City in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue to join the ongoing festival, many of them are eager to watch as many shows as they can.

The 2014 Hue Festival, which opened last Saturday and closes this Sunday evening, has been enthusiastically applauded by domestic and international tourists alike. Abbit, a 26-year-old British tourist, stood out from the thousands of festival goers during the "Dem Hoang Cung" (Royal Night) on April 15 for donning a gorgeous "ao dai" (traditional Vietnamese long gown). When the re-creation of the Vietnamese artists as royal concubines and maids ended, Abbit stepped onto the sparkling stages and posed for photos taken by her boyfriend. She said that the couple had planned to tour Ho Chi Minh City before arriving in Da Lat, a resort city in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. As soon as they learned of the Hue Festival through a friend, the two immediately changed their schedule and flew to Hue in time for the shows. "Do you think this 'ao dai' looks great on me? I had it tailored in HCMC for me to don during the Hue Festival. I really love to be immersed in the … [Read more...]

Over 21,600 foreigners flock to Vietnam’s ongoing Hue Festival

According to Ngo Hoa, head of the festival's organizing board, the international tourists come from over 100 countries and territories.  Most hail from France, Thailand, Australia, the UK, the U.S., and Japan.

By the end of last Sunday, 49,181 tourists, including 21,604 foreigners, arrived in Hue to join the 2014 Hue Festival, which opened last Saturday and closes on April 20, the festival's organizer announced at the April 14 press conference. The total number of tourists this year is higher than in previous years, Hoa noted. Hotel room occupancy has reached 100 percent. Tourists who join tours provided by local travel companies take up to 80 percent of the total number. Apart from visiting Hue's iconic scenic spots, tourists are given free tickets to the festival's shows. Hoa added that the art and music shows have gone on as scheduled, with the highest security ensured for visitors. No rip-offs have been reported so far. Over 700 reporters from 127 local news agencies and 25 correspondents from 11 foreign ones have arrived to cover central Hue City's biennial, hallmark festival that was first held in 2000. Most of the festival's shows have been a resounding … [Read more...]

Press digest – April 16

PM welcomes new Ambassadors PM Nguyen Tan Dung on Wednesday met with new Ambassadors of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Myanmar to Viet Nam, Mr. Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani and Mr. Uyn Lai, respectively. At his meeting with Mr. Khalid Ibrahim Abdulaziz Shohail Al-Qahtani, PM Dung expressed his pleasure at the positive development of the Viet Nam-UAE relations, affirming that Viet Nam attaches importance to accelerating ties with the UAE. The two Ambassadors committed to sparing no effort to reinforce their countries' ties with Viet Nam. VN-Russia relations developing positively Deputy PM, FM Pham Binh Minh and Russian FM Sergei Lavrov have agreed that the Viet Nam-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has been developing positively, bringing practical benefits to the two countries. The agreement was made during their talks in Ha Noi on Wednesday on the occasion of the Russian FM's official visit to Viet Nam from April 15-16. They discussed the … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 17/4

A 300-year-old banyan in Nghia Hanh district of central Quang Ngai province has been recognised as a Vietnam Heritage Tree, the second granted with the title in the locality. A ceremony was held on April 15 to mark the event.

New heritage tree in central Quang Ngai The tree, which is 25 meters in height and 20 meters in diameter was planted at the Lam Son communal house before King Le Hien Tong's reign (1740-1786). According to village elderly, surviving wars and natural calamities through decades, especially the fierce storms in 1910 and 1944, the banyan has developed well thanks to the villagers' care. The Vietnam Association for Conservation of Nature and Environment (VACNE) launched a programme to conserve Vietnam Heritage Trees in 2011. To win the honour, the trees must be at least 200 years old in the case of wild trees, and at least 100 years for those planted. Moreover, the trees should be connected with historical and cultural characteristics of the area where they grow. Others, which do not meet the aforesaid criteria yet have special values in science, history or culture, will be recognised as heritage. Nearly 500 trees have been named Vietnam Heritage Tree so far.- HCM City … [Read more...]

Thousands flock to enjoy vibrant Hue Festival

A series of diverse performances have been taking place at the ongoing Festival Hue 2014 - the biggest and most eclectic cultural event in the central province of Thua Thien Hue. The "Dem Hoang Cung" (Royal Night) event, one of the highlights of the festival, took place on April 15 on an evening packed with music, dancing, games and cuisine once favoured by Hue's royal court. Visitors were taken back in time for some lively scenes, including a royal feast and a changing of the guard ceremony. They were also offered the chance to see historical remnants from the royal era, including the imperial autographs of the Nguyen Dynasty's kings. Meanwhile, a "Dem Phuong Dong" (Oriental Night) event celebrating the beauty, glamour and distinctive characteristics of many Asian countries' costumes was held on the same evening in Thai Hoa Temple, inside the Hue Royal Palace. Taking part were designers from 11 countries, including Japan, China, India, Mongolia and Thailand. Earlier … [Read more...]

Hue Festival, an int’l art feast, opens tonight

From yesterday, the sparkling Hue streets have been packed with domestic tourists and foreigners, as well as groups of artists and artisans from across Vietnam and other countries.

The 2014 Hue Festival, which opens tonight, Apr 12, and runs until Apr 20, promises to give flocking tourists a host of compelling art, cultural and fashion performances from Vietnam and 36 other countries. The 2014 Hue Festival, the 8th so far, attracts some 595 artists from 43 international art troupes from the five continents, along with 811 local artists. The feast offers some 100 performances, which are strongly indicative of the countries' and regions' distinctive culture. The opening, which will take place at Ngo Mon Square 8pm tonight, will be aired live on VTV1 and VTV4. Electro music feast One of the new features at this year's Hue Festival is the international electro music fest, set to run at the An Dinh Palace stage from tomorrow. The fest will feature four celebrated electro music bands, the UK's "Micachu", France's "Joakim Bouaziz", German's "Mijk van Dijk", and Vietnam's "Tri Minh". The captivating performances by several world-leading DJs from … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 3/4

Australia's DeepBlue to perform in Hanoi Australia's DeepBlue orchestra will entertain audiences with their unique rich mix of classical, pop and film music at Radio the Voice of Vietnam Theatre in Hanoi on April 8. The group will then continue their trans-Vietnam tour which includes three headline concerts at this year's Hue Festival 2014. Free tickets to the performance themed "Who Are You" will be available at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi from April 3. One of the finalists on Australia's Got Talent in 2011, DeepBlue is part band, part orchestra and part theatre delivered with magnificent sound, lighting, images and stories. "It's such our honour to be invited to perform at the opening ceremony of Hue Festival 2014," said Greta Kelly, DeepBlue violinist. "We also feel lucky to have three shows at Thai Hoa Eastern Stage and An Dinh Palace during the festival and are looking forward to an international cultural exchange in the city," she concluded. Hanoi exhibition … [Read more...]