- “Lasting with the time” to kick off the Vietnamese-European Documentary Film Festival
- Vietnamese-European Documentary Film Festival opens
- Vietnam-France kicks off first film project on southern folk music
- Ca trù- Ceremonial singing, Vietnamese folk music treasure
- ASEAN photo, documentary film festival wraps up
A documentary featuring the original and re-created versions of the “Vu khuc Dong Duong” (Indochina dance) accompanied by “don ca tai tu” (southern folk music) music – the country’s oldest notated one – was released on Jan 7.
Also included in the film is the three-minute re-creation of the dance by Vietnamese artist Trac Thuy Mieu and Australian artist Geraldine Balcazar. Though these two versions differ from the original dance, they’re both based on a Cambodian royal dance.
“Vu khuc Dong Duong” was notated in the early 1900s by Julien Tiersot, a famed French ethnologist and musicologist. The piece was discovered in July 2013 by Nguyen Le Tuyen, a Vietnamese music researcher and lecturer at the Australian National University, at a French museum. Tuyen later sent it to local researchers.
With the help from professor Yves Defrance from France’s Rennes University, Tuyen and Nguyen Duc Hiep, another expat Vietnamese researcher, authored a book, which provides readers with valuable materials, writings and photos on the history and development of “hat boi” (classical Vietnamese opera), “don ca tai tu” and “cai luong” (southern traditional music) spanning from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
The group is also working on the country’s first-ever film project on the music genre.
In Dec 2013, local researcher Bui Trong Hien voiced his complaints that Tuyen, who discovered the notation, used Hien’s researches regarding the piece as his own. Hien also accused Tuyen of incorporating Hien’s finds into his book without seeking Hien’s consent.
Meanwhile, Tuyen claimed that Hien served as a consultant and editor only, not the co-author of his book. This has caused mixed opinions among music researchers.
“Don ca tai tu”, considered one of the country’s main chamber music genres, originated from the Hue court music and the southern region’s folk music. The genre has been developed since the 19th century and tailored to commoners’ tastes. It thrived in the early 20th century and remains crucial in the country’s traditional cultural activities.
In late 2013, the genre earned UNESCO’s recognition as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.