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Sino-Vietnamese arts show a success

Updated: 2018-01-31 09:29:01

( Xinhua )

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Performers help raise the roof in Hanoi to mark 68 years of diplomatic ties.

Dressed in a traditional long robe and wearing a large belt, the muscular man from China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region looks more like a wrestler as he appears on stage, that is until his resounding voice renders the Vietnamese audience packed into the auditorium speechless.

The man with a crew-cut hairstyle was performing traditional Mongolian throat-singing at an arts program performed by Chinese and Vietnamese singers and dancers recently at the Vietnam-China Friendship Palace in Hanoi, which was built with Chinese aid and first opened its doors in 2017.

Throat-singing was inscribed on the UNESCO list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009, under the name of the Mongolian art of singing, khoomei.

Khoomei is a style of singing in which a single performer produces a diversified harmony of multiple vocal elements, including a continued bass note produced in the throat.

The vocal form is reserved for special events and group activities such as horse races, archery and wrestling tournaments, large banquets and sacrificial rituals.

"I was deeply impressed by his khoomei performance, which was very special and unique. This is the first time I've heard this specialized form of singing," says Hoang Ngoc Nguyen Hong, a lecturer at the People's Police Academy in Hanoi.

The lecturer, holder of a doctoral degree, was dressed in an elegant purple ao dai (a traditional Vietnamese dress for women).

"I felt like I was flying up from a vast prairie when I was listening to their music and watching their dance performances," she says.

Another Vietnamese audience member was also bewitched by the performance.

"I could not believe that humans could make music like this just using their throats," says Vu Hai Nam, a freshman at the National Academy of Public Administration.

Hailing from Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province on the border with China, the student says he was also impressed by the Chinese dances which "were graceful and gentle one minute, and then wild and intense the next".

"When watching the dance named Horsehead Fiddle, I could feel the strength and freedom of the horse in the vast prairie," he says.

But it wasn't just the performers from Inner Mongolia who brought down the house in Hanoi-the Vietnamese artists also sparked applause from the audience.

Do To Hoa, dubbed "The Nightingale" by her fans, sings in both Vietnamese and Chinese, showing off both her soprano voice and command of the Chinese language.

"It's an honor to perform to celebrate the 68th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Vietnam and China," says the young woman who is currently studying for a master's degree in folk music in Beijing.

Hoa has graduated in Vietnam with a major in classical music.

Hoa hopes that the Chinese embassy in Vietnam and other agencies will organize such cultural programs more frequently as the exchanges of music, dance and martial arts help to enrich people's knowledge and bring them closer.

Many Vietnamese expressed similar hopes.

Ha Van Thinh, an official from Hanoi's rural Dong Anh district, says he wants more Chinese TV series and feature films to be screened in Vietnam, and would like to see Chinese actors like Donnie Yen and Jet Li visit the country more often.

"I was also really excited when we heard the theme song from the famous Journey to the West series. Generations of Vietnamese grew up watching this series. The song reminds us of our childhood," Thinh says.

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