Ancient Indian epic to be presented in Vietnam capital

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A play based on the ancient Indian epic "Mahabharata" will be brought to Hanoi's Youth Theater by Japanese director Hiroshi Koike, the Japan Foundation Vietnam has said.

The performance will take place on July 16 to mark the 40th anniversary of ASEAN Japan Friendship and Cooperation as well as Japan Vietnam Friendship Year 2013, news website Vietnamplus reported Tuesday.

"Mahabharata (Great Epic of the Bharata Dynasty)" is one of the two most important Sanskrit tales of ancient India. It tells the story of the war during the 10th and 11th centuries BC between the Kaurava and Pandava families, both of which descend from King Bharata.

The oldest preserved parts of the text are thought to come from about 400 BC, though the epic was probably written between the eighth and ninth centuries BC.

In this production, Koike accentuates the plot with traditional dances performed by Cambodian, Japanese and Malaysian artists.

Each dancer plays several roles by wearing different masks. As a physical theater, the dancers will primarily transmit the story through body movements cued by music.

Free tickets for the show are available at the Japan Foundation Vietnam, 27 Quang Trung Street, Hoan Kiem Ward, Hanoi.

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