“Nịnh” is the term to describe the male villain character; tends to have a white face. The level 2 of nịnh motif include:
Including all the general traits of the nịnh motif, this character already establishes a powerful standing. Example: tạ Thiên Lăng (the play “San Hậu”)
Character Đổng Trác played by Hoàng Hà
Also carries the general traits of nịnh motif, although this character hasn’t achieved a powerful position. Example: Vưu Hồn, Bí Trọng (the play “Bá Ấp Khảo”).
Despite the different branches, their technical elements are not too far different in styling, only more distinguishable through manners. If the original nịnh is an arrogant figure, then feeble nịnh is only a coward and sycophant.
TƯỚNG AND YÊU ĐẠO MOTIF
Comparing to other motifs, the tướng and yêu đạo (or it can be called as turtle master motif) are the characters that deeply reflect the dramatic element of hát bội practice from their singing-dialogues technique, costuming, to choreography. This has made the audience and connoisseurs pay much attention to this motif.
General description: Tướng motif is the character type that inherit some traits on manners, actions, and choreography of kép that is brawny in type: Assertive, swift, powerful singing-dialogues delivery. However, the significant detail to pay attention to is their makeup being made as mask-like, which they are diverse with various stylised expressions. Depends on their role in the play, we have protagonist tướng (the tướng that belongs in the good side and loyal) such as Trịnh n (the play “Sentencing Trịnh n”), Hoàng Phi Hổ (the play “Bá Ấp Khảo”), etc; and villain tướng (the tướng that are evil and vindictive), Ô Lợi Hắc (the play “Goddess offers Ngũ Linh flag”) etc.
The motif can also be deeper understood in its level 2 of formation- major tướng and minor tướng. Major tướng includes the traits that are mentioned above, with social standing and hold a crucial role in the plot. Minor tướng, on the contrary, are characters that don’t hold crucial position in the script like Châu Thương (the play “Battle at Phàn fortress”) Tiết Quỳ (The play “Tiết Giao steals the pearl”), etc.
Major tướng Tạ Ôn Đình played by Hữu Danh
Minor tướng Tạ Lôi Nhược played by Linh Phước
YÊU ĐẠO MOTIF (TURTLE MASTER)
Similar like tướng motif, yêu đạo motif has a distinctive dramatic element of hát bội. However, yêu đạo tends to be portrayed as villain characters, in which they possess opposite traits from the protagonist, power abuser, with a sense of justice according to feudal law. Moreover, these characters tend to start off with non-human origins, they’ve honed their magical ability to become human so it made their manners appear animalistic. The character makeups are also suggestive of the manners and symbolism of their background. Examples such as Dư Hồng (the play “Lưu Kim Đính liberate at Thọ Châu”) is originally a red bird that trained itself into human form so the eye makeup mimics a bird motif, with a red face makeup base. The design of yêu đạo/ turtle master tends to use weirdly big eyes to express an eerie manner, big tummy to indicate magic (or it could be called “bụng phép”), with costume similar to the Taoist monks.
Character Sage Dư Hồng played by Nguyễn Tuấn
TYPE OF CHARACTERS IN VIETNAMESE HÁT BỘI, co-produced by Hiếu Văn Ngư – Cultura Fish and ICHCAP. Please give proper citation and do not repost by any type.
Researcher: Vương Hoài Lâm
Translator (Vietnamese – English): Hà Hoàng Minh Trang
As of today, Cultura Fish has only started its first steps on this long journey ahead. Looking back on our two years of formation and progress, Cultura Fish has slowly grown through each of our projects.
As an effort to have a full picture about The Southern Gem, Cultura Fish had the opportunity to meet and interview with the director of The Hát Bội Theatre of Hồ Chí Minh city, mister Võ Hồ Hoàng Vũ, he was also the art director of the program.
During the years of 2017-2018, there were many activities, projects, and programs that focus on hát bội, where it aimed to revive the art of hát bội upon various mediums and perspectives, the resurgence came up like an exciting wave of vitality for this long forgotten art to be born again.