Time Required : 45 minutes - 1 hour
Ca Tru is an ancient genre of Vietnamese chamber music featuring female vocalists. These hour long performances combine poetry, music and a variety of traditional melodic forms, initially used to entertain the royal and wealthy people, but now also performed at weddings and banquets. Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre is worth a visit if you love history and art.
Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre is a concert hall located in the heart of the Old Quarter area of Hanoi. It specializes in hosting Ca tru musicals that showcase the traditional art form, indigenous to Northern Vietnam. The art lovers of Vietnam particularly cherish the classic performances that depict the ancient culture of the nation. The audience is spellbound by the unique musical form comprising of 100 odd melodies packed into a concert that usually takes about 45 minutes of rendition. This form of music has received recognition by the UNESCO that depicted it as an 'intangible asset' of the country’s rich heritage. The theater is a restored home where time seems to stop courtesy, the lilting music and melodious beats of Ca tru. The performers make use of wooden castanets or pieces of woods that produce musical sounds when clicked together.
The concert can be likened to a type of chamber music with Ca tru often being referred to as hat a dao or hat noi. Strangely, it features only female singers based in North Vietnam. Traditionally the musical performances were meant to entertain the rich and mighty of the land along with the royalty. It has also been called as a geisha type of entertainment with shows being enacted in the royal courts and religious places. Having originated in the 11th century, Ca tru was later performed in parlors with the vocalists enthralling the audiences there. Having gained recognition by UNESCO in 2009, this form of art has found many takers with the Thang Long Ca Tru Theatre being the only hall holding shows regularly for the masses.
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