The experience will offer spectators a chance to explore Vietnamese history and culture from a contemporary perspective, with hundreds of performers, an interactive stage, and state-of-the-art technology.
The Quintessence of Tonkin Show
Located 25km west of central Hanoi, The Quintessence of Tonkin occupies a space close to Thay Pagoda, one of the oldest Buddhist pagodas in Vietnam and a pilgrimage site during the lunar new year festival season. The spectacle draws inspiration from the pagoda’s spiritual history, with storyline elements that focus on the founding of the pagoda by the venerable monk Tu Dao Hanh and the ancient union between religion and monarchy. Thay Pagoda can be visited in conjunction with a trip to see The Quintessence of Tonkin, which helps frame the spectacle.
The stage was built in between the auditorium and the small moutain where Thay Pagoda rests, so the audience watches the performance to the backdrop of the pagoda. The pagoda thus plays a vital role in the spectacle. The stage is permanently submerged under a thin layer of water, and is large enough to accommodate all 250 performers at any one time. The ubiquitous water allows for many of Vietnam’s more striking cultural treasures to be creatively displayed, including water puppetry and dragon boat racing.
“Mountains and water are very important in Vietnamese spirituality and folklore, which is why the show takes place on a lake and the Thay moutain is visible,” says Hoang Nhat Nam, Director of the show. “It was also important to me that I included many of the most important aspects of Vietnamese culture and history. The audience will encounter scenes depicting the rise of Vietnamese Buddhism, legendary kings, martial arts, and the ancient mandarin university system.”
The spectacle can be best thought of as a mosaic of Vietnamese culture, taking the most compelling elements and weaving them into a performance masterpiece.
Performance art technicians were sourced to devise a world class sound and lighting system, but the sounds of the spectacle will still reflect the peaceful sounds of rural Vietnam, including wooden drums and brass gongs; night crickets and flowing water. The spectacle will also blend different elements of traditional music styles, including Quan Ho and Ca Tru, both of which are now recognized by UNESCO as examples of intangible world heritage.
“These spectacular cultural experiences are already popular in other parts of Asia, including Thailand and Singapore, but there is not yet anything like this in Vietnam,” explains Tram Tran, Director of Sales and Marketing of the Quintessence of Tonkin show. “It is so exciting to be bringing something completely fresh to the market and give visitors to Hanoi something unforgettable to do in the evenings.”
The auditorium can cater up to 2,500 guests, with shows every evening except Tuesday. The site is approximately 40 minutes by car from central Hanoi with shuttle-bus service on offer. A “dinner and show” combination will be available.
For more details, please visit the website:
International: The Quintessence of Tonkin
Vietnamese: Tinh hoa Bắc Bộ