VietnamSurprise – Hanoi on Wednesday launched the first festival of Chau Van singing at Kim Giang Temple in Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi, attracting hundreds of Chau Van singers and locals despite the heavy rain.
The festival will consist of two phases, one which kicked off on Wednesday until Monday and the other on October 4 and 5. In the first phase, each troupe will perform for 40 minutes and artists will disguise themselves as heavenly goddesses and dance to folk music produced by unique traditional musical instruments.
The top ten troupes will be chosen to perform in the second phase at Cong Nhan Theater in Trang Tien Street. The organizers will hold talks during the festival to discuss how to preserve and bring into play the positive values of Chau Van singing in modern society.
Chau van singing, dating from the Tran Dynasty (1225-1400), is a national intangible cultural heritage. The Red River Delta province of Nam Dinh is considered its birthplace.
This highly rhythmic form of singing often accompanies Hau dong (mediumship) during rituals to honor Mother Goddesses and connect to other gods. It is usually performed at temples and pagodas.
The music and poetry performed in the folk art is blended with a variety of rhythms, pauses, tempos, stresses and pitches. The genre has also adopted folk songs from the uplands and highlands of the North, Central and South. The main musical instrument used in the genre is the Dan nguyet (moon-shaped lute or Two chord guitar).
Relevant agencies are working on a dossier to seek UNESCO’s recognition of the traditional singing genre as an intangible cultural heritage.