|Artist Lai Thanh Minh (first from left) and Nam Dinh's Cheo art troupe. (Photo: VOV)
The Cheo art troupe was set up by Lai Thanh Minh, an artist from Nam Dinh province’s Traditional Arts Theatre. Without a big stage or elaborate costumes, the group practices and produces video clips of their performances in a small room and then posts them on social media. Even though the group just formed in September, their clips have received thousands of likes and comments and are widely shared on Facebook.
“In recent times, many kinds of art forms, including Cheo cannot be performed on stages due to COVID-19. I had an idea of gathering some of my students to produce Cheo video clips and post them on social media to bring this art form to the public during the pandemic time. We don’t use too complicated costumes as we think that it will be easier for Cheo to reach the audience if it is presented in a simple way,” said Minh.
Most of the group’s members are students from the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema. Pham Quoc Huy, a first-year student, says, “Cheo is a unique art form as it is imbued with humanity values, life lessons as well as Vietnamese identities. I will try my best to preserve and promote it.”
Cheo veteran artist Doan Thanh Binh spoke highly of the group’s skills and the popularity of their Cheo video clips.
“Despite being first-year students, they sing very well. It is not easy to perform Cheo but they have talent and great passion for this art form. Those youngsters have helped preserve Cheo.”
|Lai Thanh Minh and a veteran artist perform Cheo. (Photo: VOV)
Six young artists cooperate well in each Cheo performance which has enjoyed increasing popularity among not only art lovers but also young audiences.
“I rarely watch classical Cheo but I have changed my mind when I watch those young artists’ performance on social media. Now, I follow them to get their latest Cheo video clips,” said Trinh Thi Nga, a viewer from Ninh Binh province.
Ms. Nguyen Hong Hai from Thanh Hoa province says he enjoys classical Cheo melodies. adding, “The group performs Cheo beautifully. Though they don’t work on the stage and the costumes are simple, I still enjoy it because it is close to life.”
Recently, the troupe and their colleagues from several other localities performed Cheo at high schools in Nam Dinh province. They also gave a free Cheo performance at the Hanoi Old Quarter Culture Exchange Center at 50 Dao Duy Tu street in Hanoi.