The puppetry performance entitled Mơ Rồng (Dream of Dragon), written and staged by director Lê Quý Dương, has been ed to participate in the 36th World Theatre Congress in the United Arab Emirates on February 19-25.


A scene in Mơ Rồng (Dream of Dragon). The performance is the only representative of the Asia-Pacific region to perform at the opening ceremony of the 36th World Theatre Congress in the United Arab Emirates. — VNS Photo Minh Giang


This is the only display representing the Asia-Pacific region to perform at the opening ceremony, along with representatives from Europe, Africa, Latin America, Oceania, and the Middle East.

According to director Dương, the performance is a combination and sublimation of the traditional drum in the chèo (Vietnamese traditional opera) art form, with unique foot puppetry, creating a performance imbued with traditional identities but modern sound, lighting imagery and staging effects.


Mơ Rồng is a combination and sublimation of the traditional drum in the chèo (Vietnamese traditional opera) art form, with unique foot puppetry — VNS Photo Minh Giang


After many votes, the Executive Board of the International Theatre Institute (ITI/UNESCO) officially decided to invite a delegation of Vietnamese theatre artists, representing the Asia-Pacific region to attend and perform during the World Theatre Congress with the theme "The world's performing arts reunion with humanity."

Dream of Dragon tells the story of beautiful, charming Vietnamese women working in wet rice fields. The character of Tễu (narrator in water puppetry) is introduced as a vivid symbol of Vietnamese folklore, expressing the soul and affection of the Vietnamese people, who are gentle, simple but also very intelligent and witty. Then suddenly war breaks out. In the rain of bombs and bullets, people still stick, carry and cover each other to overcome the sacrifices and losses. Tễu was saved by a pair of dragons.

“The strong vitality and cultural inner strength of thousands of years of civilisation have helped Tễu revive and resound every beat of the rowing drums when drilling, picking up, squealing and jubilant, for life to sprout," Director Dương said.

"A pair of baby dragons is born again as a symbol of love, inner strength and the intense vitality of culture that will never die out.

“The performance sends a profound message of peace to humanity today. War may still be going on somewhere on earth and can destroy everything, but life, love and aspiration for peace remain happy. The happiness of humanity will forever remain."

The performance features actors and actresses from the Việt Nam Puppet Theatre including Hoàng Thị Kim Thoa, Nguyễn Thị Thu Hương, Nguyễn Lan Hương, Cao Thị Huyền and drummer Trần Đình Quang. Besides, artist Trần Thành Hòa creatively designed visual effects for the programme, combined with music and sound effects of musician Darin Verhagen from Australia.

People's Artist Nguyễn Tiến Dũng, director of the theatre said that classic puppet shows such as Fairy DanceFox Catching DucksBuffalo Fighting are widely known. This time, the Việt Nam Association of Theatre Artists decided to stage a new art piece.

“Even though the performance is just over 10 minutes in length, it is succinct, concise, and has an artistic message, exploits the unique performance form of puppetry and body art, and will bring the audience a new look about Vietnamese puppetry,” Dũng said.

The puppet show of Vietnamese artists was performed in front of nearly 1,000 artists and delegates from nearly 100 countries and territories, and was broadcast live on the National Television of the UAE.