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Hue City to host ‘Drum and Percussion Festival 2012’

The first international ‘Drum and Percussion Festival 2012’ will be held in Hue City from April 10-14.

The event will have participants from different regions of the country such as the Trong Dong troupe of the Antique Association in Thanh Hoa Province; Hue Traditional Art Theatre; the folk art troupe from Dak Lak Province; Martial Art and Music Group of the Tay Son Museum in Binh Dinh Province; and Phu Dong Drum Troupe of Ho Chi Minh City.

The event themed ‘Resonating Vietnamese Spirit’ will be part of ‘Hue Festival 2012’.

The biennial Hue Festival in Hue City in Thua Thien-Hue Province from April 7-15 will have 36 art troupes from 28 countries participating in the event.

Hue Festival is one of the highlights of National Tourism Year celebrations which will introduce Vietnamese businesses; culture; the first national heritage programme; a charming Vietnamese Gala; workshop on international cooperation and the development of over-land tourism with countries along the East–West Economic Corridor; the 2nd International Choir Festival; Tam Giang waterway festival; Lantern Festival; Buddha’s Birthday Festival; ‘Impressive Hue rain’ programme; Hoa Lu ancient capital festival; International Firework Competition; Vietnam cave festival; Lam Kinh Festival and Hoi An ancient night.

Quang Dung returns as first guest judge for local “Dancing with the Stars”

Local filmmaker Nguyen Quang Dung, who judged last year’s “Buoc nhay hoan vu”, will come back to be the show’s first guest judge to appear this weekend in Hanoi.

Now in its third season, the Vietnamese adaptation of the popular reality show “Dancing with the Stars” kicked off last week with ten pairs of contestants showing off their singing and dancing skills in a non-competitive opening night.

A familiar face on the panels of many television reality shows, including Vietnam Idol 2010, Dung is well known as a rising filmmaker for his romantic comedies like “Nu hon than chet” (The Death’s Kiss), “Giai cuu than chet” (Saving the Death), and “Nhung nu hon ruc ro” (Bright Kisses).

Known for his humorous and sharp comments, Dung will work alongside the show’s regular judges, including the dance sport champions Khanh Thi – Chi Anh and music composer Quoc Bao, in the first competing night of the show this week.

To add variety to the show, producers have invited different guest judges to appear on different nights, and they must be a figure working in the entertainment industry and “have a good sense of humor and sharp critical mind”.

The show’s 10 pair of contestants, made up of one top local celebrity and one European professional dancer, will compete in the cha cha cha and the waltz for their first two routines this weekend.

In related news, in last week’s opening show, teen-pop singer Minh Hang and partner Minh Quan, who teamed up for a piece of the famous musical “Phantom of the Opera”, have been criticized for using the voice of classic singer Lan Anh to dub Minh Hang’s performance, as her weak voice could not reach the high notes.

Lan Anh said she was not asked for permissions and the pair did not inform audiences of the voice mixing.

Since viewers voiced their anger at being deceived, the show’s producers and singer Minh Quan, who was responsible for mixing the last recording, have publicly apologized.

The next episode of “Dancing with the Stars” will be held on March 25 at Quan Ngua Sport Stadium in Hanoi and broadcast live on national channel VTV3.

Where grandmas shows their passion

The second season of “Tieng hat mai xanh” (The Evergreen Singing), a singing contest held for middle-aged and elder music lovers, enters its first final round tonight in Ho Chi Minh.

Nine contestants aged 37 – 75 will compete in the first romantic pop category in a live broadcast program on Ho Chi Minh Television, the organizer of the show.

75-year-old Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thanh from Ho Chi Minh, who is the oldest finalist, said she signed up for the interesting show to remind herself that she was still healthy and energetic, and because everyone in her big family (Thanh has ten children) has loved music since they were young.

“It runs in the family. I used to perform a lot on local radio stations and joined other singing activities and practiced playing instruments. I can dance many routines from the tango to the chacha,” the proud grandmother said with a smile.

Overjoyed that she made it to the final, Thanh said the competition was also a chance for her to make friends with people her age who also have a passion for music.

Dozing off in the corner of the hall, 53-year-old Tran Thi Kim Thoa, who took a bus from Nha Trang to Ho Chi Minh for the night, said she was tired from the ride but more than happy to be part of the meaningful show.

“Tieng hat mai xanh’s” first final, which will be broadcast live from 8:30pm on March 23 will be followed by a patriotic song night on March 30 and a freestyle night on April 6.

The show concludes on April 20 at Hoa Binh Theatre, 240-242 3/2 Street, District 10, HCMC.

HCM City photo exhibition captures country beauty

A photographic exhibition focusing on the beauty of the country’s landscape and people has opened at District 1 Cultural Center.

On display are 120 black and white works from 80 artists at four sister clubs in District 1, Can Tho, Chau Doc in An Giang and Ha Tien in Kien Giang.

The event runs until next Friday at the center, 6 Mac Dinh Chi Street in District 1.

Altered Cloud seeks to heighten heritage preservation awareness in central Vietnam

A sculpture exhibition featuring a block shaped like a cloud that transforms into a water monster (15 x 6 x 4 m) with many arms is now open in the ancient royal capital of Hue in the central region.

Opened on March 15, “Altered Cloud” is made of aluminum beverage cans and is exhibited as floating on the surface of the Tinh Tam lake (literally Lake of the Serene Heart), which was one of the most beautiful landscapes of the capital city but is now seriously encroached upon and polluted.

According to a press release from exhibition organizer Hue University of Arts, the event is expected to start an interactive move towards changing the landscape of Tinh Tam Lake.

In the past few decades, there have been no projects or policies to restore the lake, only intrusions for private benefit without cultural awareness, the release said.

“Therefore, the appearance of the sculpture in a special location aims to attract public attention, create unusual feelings, and suggest ideas for broad discussions on the development of a heritage city.”

In addition, the show aims to call the attention of the public as well as concerned institutions to the problems of heritage intrusion and environmental pollution in Hue.

Altered Cloud will be displayed until March 29.

Bi Rain delights fans with unexpected dance

South Korean star singer Bi Rain delighted fans when as an M.C, he joined other performers and danced at the Korea-Vietnam military concert at the Hanoi Opera House last night, VnExpress Newswire reported.

Bi Rain, whose real name is Kim Ji Hoon, continued to be the M.C of the 2nd military concert held as part of a series of activities to celebrate 20 years of the two country’s diplomatic relation.

Bi Rain, a famous pop singer, actor and dancer, is serving in the Korean Army at the moment and thus didn’t perform on his trip to Vietnam.

As the M.C of all of the events held by the Korean Ministry of National Defense in Vietnam, Bi Rain appeared in uniform throughout the trip and was enthusiastically cheered by loyal fans.

Last night, as he joined fellow singers Park Hyo Shin, Choi Jin and Kang Chang Mo who are also serving in the military, Bi Rain made his fans wild with excitement.

He told local fans he would come back to Vietnam to perform after he was discharged from the army. “But I also hope that K-pop fans will pay more attention to our K-classic, a more intellectual musical genre,” he said.

Last night’s concert also featured the Korean National Military Symphony Orchestra playing the two country’s national anthems as well as famous traditional songs such as South Korea’s “Arirang” or Vietnam’s “Trong Com”.

Russian, Vietnamese artists join Hanoi music gala

Vietnamese and Russian artists will perform in a gala spring concert and ballet at 8 p.m. on April 4 at the Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street.

The event features professor/conductor/art director Mikhail Shcherbakov, pianist Irina Skobliakova, professors Tran Thu Ha and Ngo Van Thanh and violinist Bui Tri Dien besides other local artists. These performers will play concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, Felix Mendelssohn and Frederic Chopin.

Local fans will have the chance to enjoy Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ‘Swan Lake’ ballet dance (Part 2) arranged by Vietnamese choreographer Kieu Ngan.

Tickets are available at the Hanoi Opera House priced from VND150,000 to VND500,000. For free ticket delivery, call 0913 489 858 or 0983 067 996.

Vietnam joins Francophone film festival in France

Two Vietnamese films are being shown at the second Francophone Film Festival in Paris.

They are “Sinh menh” (The Destiny) by director Dao Duy Phuc and screenwriter Nguyen Manh Tuan, and “Chuyen cua Pao” (Pao’s story) by director and screenwriter Ngo Quang Hai.

“The Destiny” tells about the sacrifices of revolutionary fighters who laid down their lives for national independence, freedom and unity.

“The Story of Pao” depicts the life of a beautiful H’Mong girl named Pao in the northwestern mountainous area. The film won a Golden Kite award in 2005 and was presented at the Cannes films festival in 2007.

During the four-day film festival that will last until March 25, 37 short and feature-length films, documentaries and cartoons selected from 25 countries will be screened as part of International Francophone Day (March 20).
Musical game show ‘Fever’ comes to Vietnam

The Vietnamese version of French musical game show ‘The Fever’ named ‘Do suc am nhac’ (Music Competition) makes its debut on HTV7 channel at 9:30 p.m. tonight.

The show has huge ratings in the U.K., France, Belgium, Canada, India and Spain.

The game tests contestants’ musical knowledge and also sees them perform on stage. The contestants will be famous artists or celebrities.

The program, which features eight artists (four men and four women) for each episode, will be broadcast every Wednesday on HTV7.

Vietnamese MC Thanh Bach will host the show while famous DJ/producer Neo will also be involved as DJ.

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