Hiếu Văn Ngư (Cultura Fish) and the Hát Bội Art Theatre of Ho Chi Minh City jointly organize a program to explore Hát Bội, including introductory talkshows and workshops on appreciating Hát Bội.

Hát Bội (also known as tuồng or hát bộ) is one of Vietnam’s traditional theatrical art forms with a long history of development. Estimated to have originated in the 16th century, Hát Bội took shape in the 17th-18th centuries and flourished in the 19th century. Therefore, Hát Bội reached its artistic zenith during the medieval period, integrating classical aesthetic principles into its performances. At its core are the qualities of stylization with unique modes of expression such as symbolism, abstraction, and distinct makeup techniques. Over three centuries of formation and development, Hát Bội has cultivated its own distinct aesthetic values, reflecting the profound humanistic aspirations of traditional Vietnamese culture.

Hiếu Văn Ngư (Cultura Fish) and Ho Chi Minh city Hát Bội Theater proudly present the summer program series to explore Vietnamese Hát Bội art for enthusiasts of traditional performances. The series will officially launch from June 14, 2024, to August 10, 2024, featuring introductory talk shows and workshops as an invitation for the audience to learn about Hát Bội in an interactive and methodical manner. Details are as follows:

Series of 05 Talkshows – CA BIỆN PHẤN HÀNH

The talk shows will feature lectures combined with illustrative performances, providing an open conversation about Hát Bội art. “Ca” refers to the performance, “biện” to applause, and “phấn hành” to enthusiastic actions, indicating the interplay between performance and appreciation to enhance the popularity of Hát Bội. CA BIỆN PHẤN HÀNH will bridge the gap for the audience to understand Hát Bội systematically.

Starting from June 14, 2024, every two weeks, the audience will have the opportunity to listen to researcher Vương Hoài Lâm narrate the history of Vietnamese theater, decoding the “codes” of Hát Bội art from its distinctive makeup and stylization techniques, expression through face painting, costumes, singing-speaking techniques, music, to the moral values embedded in Hát Bội scripts. Alongside these intriguing lectures, the audience will enjoy performances by Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội TP.HCM, including blessing ceremonies and classic pieces such as “Hồ Nguyệt Cô hoá cáo,” “Châu Sáng tá Thanh Long,” and “Tống tửu Ô Hắc Lợi.” The final talk show will feature a performance of the “San Hậu” script, a masterpiece of Vietnamese Hát Bội art, complete with commentary from the researcher.

Ca Biện Phấn Hành poster
  • Time: 19:30 – 22:00 every other Friday (14/06, 28/06, 12/07, 26/07, 09/08).
  • Venue: Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội TP.HCM, 125 Đường Châu Văn Liêm, Phường 14, Quận 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ticket Price: 200,000 – 350,000 VND
  • Ticket registration please fill this form: https://forms.gle/t1VfbuLSeEExMVGe9 

Workshop HÁT BỘI 101

Held weekly on Saturday evenings from June 8, 2024, these workshops will offer the audience the chance to interact and practice basic Hát Bội techniques, appreciating the beauty of this centuries-old art form. HÁT BỘI 101 workshops, successfully organized by Cultura Fish at the 2023 Asian Youth Theater Festival (AYTF), demonstrate the appeal of Hát Bội to both domestic and international audiences. Each workshop features a performance and hands-on practice of fundamental Hát Bội dance moves, led by professional actors from Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội TP.HCM. These workshops promise to inspire the audience with new perspectives on traditional performing arts and understanding body movements, fostering creativity and integrating Hát Bội into modern contexts.

  • Time: 19:30 – 21:00 every Saturday from June 15 to August 10, 2024.
  • Venue: Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội TP.HCM, 125 Đường Châu Văn Liêm, Phường 14, Quận 5, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Ticket Price: 300.000 VNĐ (Workshop will only be occurred with at least 5 registrations)
  • Registration for the workshops, please fill this form: https://forms.gle/26ddLDyZV3pMT9Xi7

Background and Collaborators

Initiated by Cultura Fish in 2020, “Hát Bội 101” introduces Hát Bội art to new audiences in an open and systematic way. Combining research, artists, technology, and social media, Cultura Fish hopes to empower the audience to confidently appreciate and creatively engage with Hát Bội. Over the years, with the support of HCM city Hat Boi Theater, “Hát Bội 101” has continuously organized appreciation classes, featured Vietnamese Hát Bội characters (featured on UNESCO-ICHCAP and Google Arts & Culture), and conducted workshops for audiences both domestic and international. This is the first time Cultura Fish and HCM city Hat Boi Theater co-organize the CA BIỆN PHẤN HÀNH talkshow and HÁT BỘI 101 workshops directly at the theater’s venue. The concise and modern content of “Hát Bội 101,” combined with meticulous performances fromHCM city Hat Boi Theater, will offer both sophisticated and knowledge-rich programs for the audience.

Hiếu Văn Ngư: Established in 2020, Hiếu Văn Ngư (Cultura Fish) is a group dedicated to researching, applying, and creating culture and art. With a multi-faceted approach in education, visual arts, music, history-culture, sports, culinary arts, and performance, Hiếu Văn Ngư’s activities often resonate deeply with participants. Notable projects include “Hát Bội 101,” “Phong hoa ca vịnh,” and educational storytelling programs. Hiếu Văn Ngư also collaborates with domestic and international partners such as ICHCAP-UNESCO, British Council Vietnam, and the Asian Youth Theatre Festival (AYTF).

Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (HCM city Hat Boi Theater): Established on May 31, 1977, and renamed in 2001, Nhà hát Nghệ thuật Hát Bội Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh (Hat Boi Theatre) is dedicated to researching and performing traditional Vietnamese Hát Bội art, organizing performances domestically and internationally, and training young actors and musicians

Contact Information:
Lục Phạm Quỳnh Nhi – Phone: 09393659191 or email: [email protected]