Reviving Bài Chòi in Ninh Hoa Town

Tuesday, 23/06/2020, 08:03 [GMT+7]

Reviving Bài Chòi in Ninh Hoa Town

Ninh Hoa Town was selected to be the first locality in Khanh Hoa Province to pilot the project on protecting and promoting Bài Chòi, an intangible cultural heritage of the province. This is an opportunity to promote the revival of this art form in Ninh Hoa after years of oblivion.
 
Bài Chòi class
 
Khanh Hoa Provincial Culture-Cinema Center and Ninh Hoa Town Culture-Information Bureau recently opened a Bài Chòi class, attended by about 20 instrumentalists and artists in Ninh Hoa, who have certain knowledge of Bài Chòi. In around two weeks of the class, these instrumentalists and artists learn ancient Bài Chòi songs and Bài Chòi performance skills, etc. taught by People’s Artist Minh Duc from Binh Dinh Province. “I love singing Bài Chòi very much. I have performed Bài Chòi many times, but this is the first time I have joined a professional Bài Chòi class. I had encouraged some young people to take part in the class, so that they can form a local Bài Chòi club later on,” said Nguyen Thi Phuong Uyen (Thanh My Hamlet, Ninh Quang Commune).
 
 
Instrumentalists and artists singing Bài Chòi at Bài Chòi class
Instrumentalists and artists singing Bài Chòi at Bài Chòi class
 
 
The role of teachers is very important in such vocational transmission class. Besides teaching learners knowledge and skills, Bài Chòi teachers also need to share and inspire love for this art form. People’s Artist Minh Duc said that he will try to teach everything he knows about Bài Chòi so that this folk art form will not sink into oblivion. After this Bài Chòi class, the instrumentalists and artists are expected to be able to perform Bài Chòi at Bài Chòi festivals. 
 
Initial revival
 
Ninh Hoa Town is among six localities implementing Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee’s project on protecting and promoting Bài Chòi intangible cultural heritage. Accordingly, Bài Chòi game played on nine bamboo huts will be played in Ninh Hoa on occasions of festivals and Lunar New Year. In order to conduct this project, until the end of the year, the province will support Ninh Hoa in training and fostering Bài Chòi instrumentalists and artists; and equip the town with necessary musical instruments, costumes, sound and light systems.
 
Bài Chòi used to be played and performed often during festivals and Lunar New Year occasions in Ninh Hoa Town. Many elderly people in Ninh Hoa could play and perform Bài Chòi. Nowadays, there are not many public activities relating to Bài Chòi held in Ninh Hoa; artists in the town cannot remember all Bài Chòi lyrics and melodies as well as performance skills. Bài Chòi is facing the risk of being lost. In order to revive Bài Chòi, Ninh Hoa Town will form Bài Chòi clubs and teach Bài Chòi at schools. The town will also hold Bài Chòi shows on weekends starting from this coming September or October and on occasions of festivals and Lunar New Year.
 
According to Le Van Hoa, director of Khanh Hoa Provincial Department of Culture and Sports, the project on protecting and promoting Bài Chòi is a way to fulfill the commitment with UNESCO. Ninh Hoa Town was selected to be the first locality to pilot the project because this folk art form appeared in Ninh Hoa from a long time ago and has still been practiced in some villages and residential areas over the town. 
 
Giang Đinh
Translated by H.N