New HCMC theater for traditional music aimed at tourists

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A special theater dedicated to exposing tourists to traditional Vietnamese folk music, will open in February in Ho Chi Minh City, according to a January 10 press conference.

According to investor Huynh Anh Tuan, director of Idecaf Theater and the successful Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theater in HCMC, the two-storey theater is located on an area of 350 square meters inside District 1's Labor Cultural Palace.

Named Non La (palm-leaf conical hat), the theater includes 250 seats, each of which is made from bamboo and rattan, "to bring the audience into a Vietnamese atmosphere" said the organizer.

In addition, the theater will include a food corner where tourists can order cuisine originating in the north, south and central Vietnam before the show kicks off.

Every 50-minute show will take place at 8:35 p.m. and will feature various forms of traditional folk music, including the royal music of Hue, gongs from the Central Highlands, dragon and lion dances, as well as ca tru and cheo singing from the north.

Brochures for the music program will be presented in eight languages.

According to La Quoc Khanh, deputy director of the city's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, like other major cities in Vietnam, there are too few music shows for tourists in HCMC and most do not last for more than half a year.

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"Most of the shows are boring and not well-prepared," said Khanh at a press conference in December to launch the city's 2nd 100 Excitements Campaign, explaining their short lifespan.

Non La Theater, therefore, represents the city's new effort to promote Vietnamese culture to tourists.

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