Culture Culture

14/07/2018 - 11:27

Bringing the “Royal Traditional Art” to the public

“Royal Traditional Art” is a new tourist product held by the Hue Monuments Conservation Center every night at the Duyet Thi Duong Ancient Theater, in the Imperial Citadel. The program meets many criteria of night tourism products for Hue, but to be sustainable, there is a need to have a lot of time, perseverance and synergy of many sides.

A mother unicorn gives birth to her young

"Closer" to guests

“Royal Traditional Art” is a traditional art performance program at the Duyet Thi Duong Ancient Theater. Guests will be welcomed by musketeers after the guard relief at Noon Gate, passing the Trung Dao Bridge (Midway Bridge) and to the Duyet Thi Duong Ancient Theater. Every night, the theater has two performances, starting at 19:15 and 20:45; each performance lasts about 50 minutes.

On the first performance of the opening night of the “Royal Traditional Art”, the number of guests did not fill 80 seats as expected. However, gradually, the vacant seats are partly covered by rhythms, dances, classical drama extracts, and even serious actors from the stage. Whether the seats are full or not, the performance time starts, the lights is off and the music plays. Six performance items include the ballet "Lân mẫu xuất lân nhi" (A mother unicorn gives birth to her young), the ballet “Tường trình tập khánh”, the ballet “Lục cúng hoa đăng”, the traditional folksong “Cảnh đẹp Huế đô” (Hue ancient capital’s beautiful scenery) and the symphony “Phú lục địch

Together with the whole family enjoying this performance, Nguyen Tho Hao from Hanoi had a very memorable experience on the first day to Hue. Arriving in Hue in the late afternoon, having no time to see the panorama of the Imperial Citadel, he "invited" the whole family to experience the “Royal Traditional Art” …

"Coming to Hue many times in different circumstances, but this is the first time I watch a complete art program typical of Hue Ancient Capital. Compared to many art programs with the national characteristics in the countries I have gone to, the tickets to ‘Royal Traditional Art’ are very cheap" said Hao.

Also, like other family members participating in the program, Mr. Hao said that the organizers should consider the ways of providing extra information for viewers. It was difficult for visitors to appreciate the traditional art right away for the first time of watching the performance. However, the information through the brochures could at least help them partly grasp the content, meaning and spiritual value of the performance items. "I also wish my children to receive such ‘gifts’.  It would add spiritual value to the trip" added Hao.

More Promotion

"Royal Traditional Art” has many factors to meet the requirements of a night tourism product for Hue such as operation even in rainy season, many time frames to choose, unique performance space, medium amount of time, art materials of “Hue standard” and so on. However, “Royal Traditional Art” has not yet been widely promoted by the organizers.

In order for “Royal Traditional Art” to stage at the Duyet Thi Duong Theater as planned (on July 1), Hue Monuments Conservation Center should prepare and advertise the program through its own channels. Even so, after the first night performance, when we contacted tourists for more feedback, a travel agency in Hanoi with a Hue branch said they were completely unaware of the “Royal Traditional Art”, so they cannot support information. Rather than recording feedback, information of the program should be supplied to the travel agency.

Thua Thien Hue tourism industry welcomes the reopening of the Imperial Citadel at night initially only with the “Royal Traditional Art”. However, Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Deputy Director of Department of Tourism regrets. "The program has started since July 1. We also shared, introduced the performance program on the information channels of the Department, but many travel agencies have not had information on the "Royal Traditional Art so far. If the "Royal Traditional Art” was officially introduced as a reopening of Imperial Citadel to welcome visitors, and widely advertised to travel agencies, the original effect would be surely better" said Phuc. With the ticket price of VND 250,000 per person for each performance, Mr Phuc together with some tour operators are of the opinion that the ticket price level is reasonable, but it should rise up according to the roadmap. Perhaps in the early stage of operation, the “Royal Traditional Art” should have incentive programs for travel agencies to introduce the quality of products more convincingly.

Dr. Le Thi Minh Ly (Center for Research and Promotion of Cultural Heritage, Vietnam Cultural Heritage Association), who has a many year companion with the Hue cultural heritage, pointed out Thua Thien Hue’s drawbacks. With all the “treasure" of intangible cultural heritage, Thua Thien Hue has not yet had the unique tourism products of its own. One of the drawbacks is the lack of close coordination between the culture and tourism sectors, the travel agencies and the monument management units to increase the sustainability of a tourism product with the materials from Hue royal court’s cultural heritage. For the "Royal Traditional Art”, the value of Dr Minh Ly’s message remains unchanged: there should be  necessity of coordination and mutual support  in order to create rich cultural products, a driving force of the tourism industry.

Story and Photo: DONG VAN

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