Located 25km west of central Hanoi, the Quintessence of Tonkin occupies a space close to Chua Thay (Thay Pagoda), a special National Heritage and one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in Vietnam.
"The Quintessence of Tonkin" will be showcased in different fields of arts from poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture, leisure activities to cultural activities in religious belief and in the working life of the people.
The show draws inspiration from the spiritual history of the nearby Thay Pagoda telling the story of the pagoda's founding by venerable monk Tu Dao Hanh, and explains the ancient union between religion and the monarchy. Years in the making and with hundreds of performers, an interactive stage, state-of-the-art technology, and a stunning setting, this live spectacle is an unmissable highlight of any trip to Hanoi.
The theater itself is an engineering masterpiece. The natural lake was transformed into a stage, including a state-of-the-art hydrothermal system that raises the 15-ton Thuy Dinh Pagoda (pavilion on water) from under the water in just under a minute. As the Thay Mountain composes the background of the scenery, the owner also had to develop a unique illumination system to light up the hills, 1.5km away, using 40 lamps of 1500 watts!
There are two groups of performers in this show: local families of farmers, bringing their experience and showcasing their lives to the audiences, and a young team of talented Students from the Hanoi College of Dance, bringing youth and energy to the stage.
The show reflects the peaceful sounds of rural Vietnam, such as those that come from wooden drums, brass gongs, night crickets, and flowing water. The project also blends different elements of traditional music styles, including quan ho (love duets) and ca tru (ceremonial singing), both of which are recognised by UNESCO as examples of intangible world heritage.
In June, the show won the Gold Stevie Award for Innovation in Media, Visual Communications & Entertainment.By Linh Bui