Dance and Theater

Classical Vietnamese theatre, known as hat boi, shows links with the classical theatre of China. Since the partition of the country in 1954, there has developed what might be termed 'revolutionary realist' theatre and classical Vietnamese theatre is almost defunct today. However, the most original theatrical art form in Vietnam is mua roi muoc or water puppet theatre. Plays are based on historical or religious themes: the origins of the Viet nation, legends, village life and acts of heroism. Some include the use of fireworks - especially during battle scenes - while folk opera singers and traditional instruments accompany all performances. Performances usually begin with the clown, Teu, taking the stage and acting as a linking character between the various scenes.