ITI World Performing Arts Festival 2018

The 1st International Theatre Institute (ITI) World Performing Arts Festival will take place in Da Nang on 1 July 2018 to celebrate the 70th birthday of ITI.

A view of a Tuong performance by artistes from the Nguyen Hien Dinh Tuong Theatre

ITI was created on the initiative of the first UNESCO Director General, Sir Julian Huxley, and the playwright and novelist, JB Priestley in 1948, just after the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain divided the East and the West.

ITI has now developed into the world’s largest organisation for the performing arts, with a total of more than 90 member nations worldwide.  Viet Nam was recognised as an official member of this organisation at the 30th ITI World Congress in Tampico, Mexico, in 2004.

The first-ever event is expected to attract 20 foreign troupes with around 1,000 artistes in total from 90 ITI member nations, plus 10 domestic troupes.

The arts performances will be shown at the Trung Vuong Theatre, the Nguyen Hien Dinh Tuong Theatre, a main stage at the East Sea Park, and outdoor stages along both banks of the Han River.

An impressive ‘bai choi’ performance

The international-scale festival will provide an opportunity for local residents and visitors to enjoy different types of performing arts of the world.  It will be considered as a great chance for the city, especially local artistes to further advertise types of traditional Vietnamese stage performing arts to international friends.  Included are ‘Nha Nhac Cung Dinh Hue’ (Hue court music), ‘Ca Tru’ – national folk music (ceremonial singing), ‘Don Ca Tai Tu’ (southern folk music), Tuong (classical drama) and water puppet.

Mr Bui Van Tieng, the Chairman of the city’s Union of Literature and Arts Associations, suggested that artistes from the Nguyen Hien Dinh Tuong Theatre should prepare the most impressive play of ‘Tuong Xu Quang’ (Quang Nam classical drama). This type of arts was recognised in 2015 as a national intangible heritage by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.  Tuong play is expected to perform at the ‘Festival In’, a part of this international large-scale event.

With regard to the ‘Festival Off’, the municipal Theatrical Artistes’ Association will introduce a folk drama to this event, using a script entitled ‘ Chuyen Tinh Ben Dong Song Thu’ ( A Love Story by the Thu River) written by the late celebrated playwright Luu Quang Vu whose hometown is in Da Nang.  It is also a good idea to deliver an impressive performance of ‘bai choi’ (singing while acting as playing cards) at the ‘Festival Off’.

Mr Tieng also highlighted the importance of indispensable mutual exchanges in performing arts between seasoned experts in this aspect from ITI member countries during the next year’s event.  Such exchange activities will help the general public gain a deep insight into contemporary arts, theatrical innovations, and the preservation of traditional performing arts.


For more information, visit Danang FantastiCity.