Cai luong star headlines women’s day celebration

A open-air cai luong (reformed theatre) performance starring one of the city’s most talented young artistes will be held at the Dam Sen Cultural Park in District 11 on Sunday.

The performance by 29-year-old Que Tran, who has played an important part in helping revive the traditional art today, and her colleagues is part of several cultural activities organised by the city to celebrate the International Women’s Day, March 8.

Before an audience of more than a thousand people, most of them from rural districts, Tran will sing dozens of excerpts from plays in the style created and developed by her father, People’s Artist Thanh Tong.

Thirty years after Tong first incorporated moves from the classical drama form of tuong into a cai luong performance, he has been vindicated by mainstream acceptance and popularity of the style he pioneered.

Most of the pieces performed o­n Sunday will highlight the inner beauty of Vietnamese women.

Tran said she and her friends will try their best to offer a show highlighting Tong’s renovation that has help the art flourish today.

The show’s proceeds will be sent to support a hundred poor students who did well at school in the last academic year.

Early start

Tran began her professional career when she was just seven, performing for the Bach Long Troupe, a cai luong troupe for young artists owned by skilled comedian Bach Long – o­ne of leading performers of the art.

With her beauty and strong voice, Tran quickly improved her performance skills and became a bright star o­n the cai luong firmament.

In 1998, Tran won the Tran Huu Trang Golden Prize, the theatre’s biggest honour presented by the HCM City Theatre Association.

She starred in Thien Kieu Cong Chua (Princess Thien Kieu), a historical play written by her father, and also performed in many plays like Ben Cau Det Lua (Weaving o­n the Bridge) that are recognised as canonical cai luong plays.

Like many of her peers, Tran has devoted all her energies to the stage, finding new ways to lure audiences, particularly the youth. She often volunteers to perform for people living in remote areas.

Tran said she is proud of her traditional family, which includes more than 30 people involved in tuong and cai luong.

"Through singing cai luong, I wanted to preserve the country’s spirit. I hope our children grow up within love for the traditional arts," she said.

For her contributions for the theatre, Tran was honoured with the Most Talented Citizen title in 2009 by the HCM City Youth Union.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News