Twenty one “Don ca tai tu” troupes from cities and provinces in the southern regions will participate in the first national festival of “Don ca tai tu”, slated for April 20-25 in the southern province of Bac Lieu.
The festival’s organising board said at a press briefing in Hanoi on January 9 that Cheo (traditional opera popular in northern provinces) staged by artists from the northern province of Ninh Binh is expected to entertain a southern audience.
According to the board, the opening ceremony will take place at the Hung Vuong square in Bac Lieu city on the night of April 21.
There will be a composition competition on the art with the theme ‘Bac Lieu and the southern region’ and performances will be staged by amateur singers and instrumentalists from across the country.
The festival will also feature an exhibition on folk musical instruments, a show of ancient motors and a photo contest themed “The land and people of Bac Lieu”.
The national “Don Ca Tai Tu” festival is scheduled to be held triennially in southern provinces in turn.
Known as a musical art that has both scholarly and folk roots, Don ca tai tu developed in southern Vietnam in the late 19th century. The impromptu art honours the creativity and artistry of the performers.
UNESCO recognised the art as an intangible cultural heritage in December during the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The art is performed at numerous events, such as festivals, ‘death anniversary’ rituals, and celebratory social events. The audience can join in, by practicing, making comments or creating new words for songs.
It has been transmitted from generation to generation through official and unofficial forms of education in all 21 provinces.
The art form is played on a variety of different instruments, including the kim (moon-shaped lute), co (two-stringed fiddle), tranh (16-string zither), ty ba (pear-shaped lute), song lang (percussion), bau (monochord) and sao (bamboo flute), and the violin and guitar, which were adapted to fir the style.
The musicians who contribute to Don ca tai tu include master instrumentalists, master lyricists, master singers, instrumentalists, and singers.
Influenced by other forms of cultural heritage from the central and southern regions of Vietnam, such as nhac le (ceremonial music) and hat boi (classical theatre and folk song), the music genre was added to the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2012.-VNA