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General Introductionchevron_rightHue Royal Traditional Arts Theater

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The Theater of Hue Traditional and Royal Art, under the authority of the Hue Monuments Conservation Center, is an art unit with the function of preserving and promoting Hue royal art forms, including: Nha Nhac, Royal Dance and Royal Tuong.

After the end of the Nguyen Dynasty, despite many historical ups and downs as well as constant wars, the Ba Vu troupe - a singing and dancing troupe under the Nguyen Dynasty had been  maintained until the peaceful day, thanks to the constant support and assistance of Queen Mother Tu Cung Doan Huy. In the South (1945- 1975), the Saigon government continued to maintain the activities of the Ba Vu team. Hue royal art continues to be preserved and promoted; Many artist groups have had the opportunity to perform in other countries and make a splash. After 1975, the new government soon paid attention to preserving Hue's traditional royal arts to serve the people, continuing to establish the Binh Tri Thien Art Troupe, then renamed the Hue Traditional Art Troupe.


In 1994, the Royal Art Troupe under the Hue Monuments Conservation Center was established with the function of preserving and performing royal art forms. In 2006, the upgrade merged two units: the Hue Traditional Arts Troupe under the Department of Culture and Information (now the Department of Culture and Sports) and the Theater of Hue Traditional and Royal Arts under the authority of Hue Monuments Conservation Center under Decision No. 867/QD-UBND signed by the Chairman of the People's Committee of Thua Thien Hue Province on March 29, 2006 once again created conditions for the revival of Hue royal performance art. The theater has the task of promoting and upgrading the value of intangible heritage; organizing the staging and performance of  Nha Nhac, Royal Dance, Royal Tuong and other folk, ethnic dance to serve political tasks, foreign affairs, cultural exchanges in the country and globe as well as serve the people's enjoyment for cultural arts. The lost pieces of  Nha Nhac, Royal Dance and Royal Tuong have been gradually restored and put into performance in a regular manner. By returning to the people, the artistic value of performing forms will certainly be preserved and promoted forever.


The performance space, which can be considered as the heart of the  Theater of Hue Traditional and Royal  Arts, is Duyet Thi Duong. This can be considered as the original performance environment of Hue royal performance art under the Nguyen dynasties. Built in 1826 under the Minh Mang dynasty, on the old foundation of the Thanh Phong Duong theater, Duyet Thi Duong - the theater for the Royal Family - is the oldest theater in Vietnam. Located in the Southeast corner, inside the Forbidden City - Hue, Duyet Thi Duong (Théatre Royal) is a large-scale architectural work, with the main function being the royal theater. This is where traditional cultural and artistic activities took place, such as: royal music and dance, Tuong performance, Hat Boi, plays... Audience were the King, royal family, mandarins and foreign envoys.


1. Unit name: The Theater Of Hue Traditional And Royal  Arts.


2. Management level: Hue Monuments Conservation Center.


3. Area of ​​operation: Domestic and International.


4. Organizational apparatus: The theater includes a Board of Directors, four art troupes and two functional offices:

- Ba Vu Troupe (specializing in royal dance);

- Hoa Thanh Doan (specializing in Music);

- Doan Thanh Binh (specializing in Tuong);

- Thanh Phong Doan (promoting music, dance, and festivals based on royal materials);

- Applied Research Office: Research, collect, preserve, and promote the intangible heritage values ​​of  Nha Nhac, Royal Dance and Royal Tuong; coordinate to research and restore Hue royal festivals;

- Administration - Management Office: Composed of many departments, with the function of advising the Theater’s Board of Directors on administrative - management work; finance - accounting work and internal and external affairs activities;


5. Achievements:

It can be affirmed that, with over 400 years of history, the  Theater Of Hue Traditional And Royal Arts is the only royal art unit within the country with a long history of existence until now. What is more precious is that the unit still retains unique and unique traditional art values ​​such as Hue Tuong, Royal dance and singing, Hue Royal ceremonies..., most notably Nha Nhac -  Vietnamese Court Music recognized by UNESCO as a "Masterpiece of the Intangible Cultural Heritage - A Representative Of Humanity", actively contributing to preserving and promoting Hue cultural heritage.

In recent years, Hue Royal Traditional Arts Theater has always received great attention from the Party and State with many specific guidelines and policies on preserving as well as promoting intangible cultural values and national traditional arts through investment policies in art, exchange and honoring artists, along with socio-economic development, international integration, culture… Most notably, the Law on Cultural Heritage in 2009, amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Cultural Heritage Law No. 28/2001/QH10 really gave Hue royal art a more favorable operating environment and created a new vitality.

On that long journey, Hue Royal Traditional Arts Theater has continuously strived for artistic activities and has actually achieved remarkable achievements in many aspects of its work.


6. Collection and storage work:

After Hue Royal Court Music was honored by UNESCO, research, survey, fieldwork, collection and archiving of documents related to Nha Nhac as well as other forms of Tuong and Royal Dance have received attention and conducted by Hue Preservation Monuments Center (Specifically, the direct implementing unit is the Theater Of Hue Traditional And Royal Arts ). First of all, a number of researchers and related people attend training courses on research and archival methodology, including methods of planning and conducting national historical and oral research, approaches to cultural research, practical instructions on interviewing skills, audio and video recording, building an archive, bibliography, transcription and principles of image creation in filming, photography. These training courses are directly taught and guided by leading Vietnamese experts, such as Prof. Dr. Science. To Ngoc Thanh, PhD. Le Toan, Dr. Van Thi Minh Huong... Along with the training, members also directly visit, learn and exchange experiences at Vietnam's most important research institutes and archives centers, such as the Institute of Music, Institute of Sino-Nom Studies, National Archives..., visit traditional craft villages in the North and interview famous artisans here.

Currently, the Applied Research Office of the Theater is doing a good job of collecting and storing scientific records and documents related to Nha Nhac, Tuong and Royal Dance. Information is collected from many different sources (through interviews, fieldwork...), then continues to be analyzed, classified, processed, and then built into scientific records, serving for research, training, and promotion purposes as well as being kept specifically for research work at the Theater's Applied Research Office. Until now, the collection and storage work has resulted in a large and precious amount of data, specifically records on Royal music: Scientific records on Ancient Sound Of Peace, Royal Music Instruments  Of the Nguyen Dynasty, Research on the Tam Thien - Nha Nhac Picece, Cung Ai - Nha Nhac Piece, Phu Luc Dich - Nha Nhac Piece, Three Wheels And Nine Variations, Five Pieces of Oboe, Ten Royal Pieces; Scientific records on Royal Dances:  the Three Kingdoms - Journey to the West, Dragons - Tigers Festival , Lantern Dance, Bat Tiem Hien Tho, Hand Fan Dance; Records of Hue Royal Tuong: Scientific records of Noi Nieu Pieces used in Hue traditional Tuong, Scientific records of Hue Royal Tuong masks, Hue Royal Tuong costumes, Hue Tuong choreography.

It can be affirmed that in the future, the work of the archival collection will continue to be promoted and will reach even more achievements. This is a vital area of ​​work in preserving and restoring traditional values, and is the foundation for Hue royal performance art to continue to be honored and gain a worthy position in literature as well as transform the spirit of the ancient capital.


7. Performance and promotion work

Aware of the importance of performing  and promotion activities in raising public awareness of the precious intangible cultural heritage values of the locality, Hue Theatre of Royal and Traditional Art has paid appropriate attention to these activities. This is one of the most strong deployed activities to continue to enhance the position of Hue royal art performances. In addition to organizing daily performances at Duyet Thi Duong Theatre Citadel - Hue) to introduce to domestic and foreign tourists the unique heritage values of Court Music, Royal plays and Royal Dance, the Theatre has also diversified  forms of performance activities to bring promotional activities to the new height.


Foreign exchange performance activities

For many years, the Theatre has been honored to be assigned the task of exchanging performing domestically and internationally by the central and local leaders. Art programs and ceremonies to welcome important diplomatic delegations of provincial leaders are increasingly standardized in both form and quality. Abroad performances were excellently completed, typically:  carrying out art programs to welcome important central and international diplomatic delegations to visit and work in Hue; performances in countries such countries as: Paris, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, Korea, Spain, Italy, Thailand; performances at international conferences such as: East-West Economic Corridor Conference; Conference of Mayors of French-speaking countries (AIMF), APEC 14 Vietnam conference,


Activities of competitions and variety festivals

In the process of professional work, participating in competitions and variety festivals plays an important role and is one of the criteria to evaluate the level of recognition of specialists as well as the community. artistic activities. In recent years, the Theater has achieved many outstanding achievements, highly appreciated by specialized agencies of the Theatre Artists Association of Vietnam and the Department of Performing Arts, attracting the attention of major art units nationwide.

The diverse awards and high positions continuously achieved every year are clear evidence of the development, maturity and self-affirmation of many generations of artists, and also demonstrate the stature and position of the theatre as a unique major artistic centre of the central region. These brilliant achievements are also the result of a well-oriented strategic vision which can promote professional capacity of the artists and bring opportunities of contributing of generations of artists which ensures continuity and transfer throughout the development path from the past to the present.

Performing activities serve political tasks.


Arts and culture are also political front, which means that serving political tasks is also considered one of the central goals of performance activities of Hue Theatre of Traditional and Royal Art. For many years, the Theatre  has done a good job of  performing for major holidays such as New Year's Eve festivals, celebrations of important historical milestones of the homeland and the country, especially periodical festivals  held every 2 years. It was the high-level art performances as well as the artists' sense of dedication that made great success of these events. This is also the reason why the Theatre  is always appreciated by provincial leaders as one of the core forces in undertaking major national and international art programs. Besides, the Theatre also promoted performances to serve audience in remote areas with the goal of spreading the cultural values to the people, contributing to propagandize and educate people to be aware of preserving and promoting traditional cultural beauties. Many typical activities of performing have been taken to serve the people and soldiers at Thuan An Border Guard station, Border Guard station in A Luoi district, revolutionary base areas in Huong Tra and Quang Dien district.

Performance activities serving tourism services


Aiming to build Hue into a cultural and tourist center with a national and regional brand, focusing on developing performance activities to  serve tourism and create attraction of tourists is a suitable orientation. So as to highly promote the strength of the type of Intangible Cultural Heritage, the theatre has constantly innovated, transformed and diversified the way of organizing performing services  of Court Music, Royal play and Royal Dance to impress the spectator. With community performances based on materials from royal art such as movements, melodies, music, lyrics..., the artists have had certain variations to make their movements softer and flexible and not as too symmetrical as before to attract viewers' tastes. Some typical successful performing activities are gala music, recreating royal reception rituals...

Activities of promoting and  introducing hetitage  to students


After Nha Nhac was acknowledged as intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO, the activities of improving the awarenes of students were also invested through the talks with illustrations and performances by the late Prof. Dr. Tran Van Khe for students at all levels in Hue city. Hue Theatre of Traditional and Royal Art also creates conditions for students to directly participate in training sessions on court music and other types of royal performances. The students seemed to be very satisfied. In addition, under the direction of the Centre, the Theatre also coordinated to organize training seminars for teachers of some primary schools in Hue to provide knowledge about Court music and music teaching methods so that students can comprehend and feel the value of traditional music, especially Nha nhac Court music.

During the 2022-2023 school year, the whole province launched the activity "Hue cultural heritage education" at relic sites and received enthusiastic response from students. This can be considered one of the outstanding achievements among the Theatre's promotional activities in recent years. From experiential learning hours which were suitable with current education trends (focusing on local education), basic knowledge about performing arts will be taught to the young generation. That will contribute to fostering conscious of preserving and promoting traditional values, continuing to seek the next generation in researching and preserving the unique cultural beauty of traditional Hue royal art.


8. Training and teaching work                      

Impementing the International Convention on Preservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage ( 2003 Convention for short) which was first ratified by Vietnam, one of the first countries to ratify standards of this Convention, with the help of UNESCO, Hue Monuments Conservation Centre- the unit assigned to implement the project with the participation of the community and the coordination and support of competent authorities. related industries and organizations - have conducted many activities, in which training and teaching are considered fundamental activities, ensuring continuity between generations. Currently the International Convention on the Conservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage (referred to as the 2003 Convention) of which Vietnam is one of the first countries to ratify this Convention, with the help of UNESCO, the Center for Preserving Hue Monuments - the unit assigned to implement the project with the participation of the community and the coordination and support of relevant agencies and organizations - has carried out many activities. Among those, training and teaching are considered fundamental activities, ensuring continuity between generations.

In recent years, the Theatre has carried out quite methodically the work of training young court music instrumentalists and  improving their performance skill. In 2005, the training course of Nha Nhac instrumentalists included 20 students selected and trained with the following majors: moon-shaped guitar, zither, flute, drum, four- chord lute, two-chord fiddle, trumpet. This was a special training course in the form of oral transmission from artisans (vocational transmission in the form of one teacher - one student). In this course, students were taught traditional solmization (Ho, Xu, Xang, Xe, Cong…). This training course for Nha Nhac instrumentalists has been directly taught by prestigious professors, artisans, and artists such as: the late Prof. Dr. Tran Van Khe, Prof. Dr. To Ngoc Thanh, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ha Sam, the late folk artisan Tran Kich, artisan Tran Thao, teacher Nguyen Dinh Sang (former Principal of Hue  School of Culture and Arts), Hue scholar Nguyen Xuan Hoa... and a number of famous Nha Nhac artists. In addition to training, famous artists were also invited to teach performance skills and pass on professional tips. The theatre also regularly organizes training couress  for instrumentalists to help them improve their profession. Besides, in order not to miss out good seeds, Hue Theatre of  Traditional and Rotal Art has a policy of continuing to select and train students from traditional artisan families to build a team for traditional performing arts in the near future.