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Teh Dar

A nice perk of my job is that occasionally get a ticket to cultural performances. I’m a very low-ranking person at the Consulate, so opportunities like this are rare for me. But I really got lucky yesterday. Last night I got to see a show called “Teh Dar.” It’s a dance performance based on the culture of one of the ethnic minorities in Vietnam, the Tây Nguyên (“Day Ween”) people.

Here’s an official trailer for the performance:

I’m a Philistine, so abstract meanings are lost on my tiny, uncultured brain. So I apologize to if my description of the show completely misrepresents the intent of the producer. The performance was in several parts, representing (to my uncultured eye) aspects of the life and culture of the people. The impression that I got was that there were themes common to all cultures: planting crops, hunting, building a house, courtship and love. Then there were some more pieces that were more abstract, representing (I think) the supernatural, war, and storms. The quality of the performance was terrific. The dancing was athletic, like Cirque du Soleil.

After the performance was over, the performers sat in a stairwell in the lobby, singing to us as we left the opera house.

It was a real treat to experience this show, and to see the inside of the famous Opera House.

The Opera House at night.

Here’s what it looked like 100 years ago, in 1915:

By David Shapinsky from Washington, D.C., United States – “Municipal Theatre” and stand for “Malabars,” Saigon, Vietnam by Underwood, ca. 1915 (LOC), CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3000345

And here’s a link to the performance’s website: http://www.luneproduction.com/teh-dar.

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