‘Sunshine Carnival’ to brighten up Sun World Ba Na Hills

By Phat Dat   May 13, 2019 | 08:00 pm GMT+7
An unprecedented art and culture event, Sunshine Carnival, will be held this summer in Ba Na Hills, central Vietnam.

With an investment of nearly VND100 billion ($4.28 million), this four-month cultural extravaganza will feature a series of shows by hundreds of artists from home and abroad.

More than 200 international artists have been lined up to participate in the Sunshine Carnival organized by the Sun Group, the country’s premier developer of luxury resorts and world class entertainment complexes.

Each show will be crafted by Pham Hoang Nam, known as "the magician stage director," and musical director, Huy Tuan, a highly-acclaimed composer in Vietnam, and fashion designer Tom Trandt, voted one of 15 Young and Talented Designers in the world by magazine1-D 2019, and many other young talents.

They will be advised by chief choreographer, Hani Abaza, who used to work as a choreographer and performer at Disneyland, Cirque Du Soleil and on the show So You Think You Can Dance (Vietnamese, Canadian and American versions). Also part of the production team will be the choreographer Sabra Johnson, a former champion of So You Think You Can Dance America and operating system specialist Cara Volchoff.

Chief choreographer Hani Abaza.

Chief choreographer Hani Abaza.

According to general director Pham Hoang Nam, Sunshine Carnival will tell a specially written story called the Sunshine Kingdom, based on a classic Vietnamese folk tale about how a young prince became king after cooking banh chung (traditional sticky rice cake) for his father, who challenged all of his sons to come up with a dish that showed their love of their homeland and, thus, indicate they would be a worthy ruler of the people.

For the Sunshine Kingdom, people from the seven regions of the land will be summoned to attend Sunshine Carnival and show their love of their homeland and to please the king, not with a dish, but with a special artistic performance.

After the competition rounds are held, the "Sunflower Crown" will be offered to the region deemed to have presented the best performance. This crown will belong to the region for one year only, and the lord of that region will enjoy many special privileges.

As one of the largest art shows to be ever held in Vietnam, Sunshine Carnival will offer visitors many opportunities to learn more about the myths, customs and fun-loving spirit of Sunshine Kingdom’s seven regions.

Artists practicing for the show.

Artists practicing for the show.

Visitors can expect production and light shows with award winning choreography, world-class dancers, elaborate costumes and show-stopping performances.

According to the directors, the aim is not simply to entertain visitors with an exciting show, but also to transform how people view art performances in Vietnam and show that ‘traditional entertainment’ can be thrilling and modern, too.

Each of the seven regions will showcase seven distinct artistic personalities with one-of-a-kind performances, including the flamboyant artistry of magicians in the show Land of Magic, beautiful, romantic dancing on ice in Land of Snow, and rhythmic dancing and percussion in Land of Joy, and much more besides.

Regarding this new project, chief choreographer Hani Abaza said: "I have worked on countless TV shows, music videos and live shows, but this is a whole new challenge as we are creating a whole magical and fantastical world. Creating a world is never easy. It is a bigger challenge that requires a great amount of effort and time.

"If we want to expand our reach on an international level, we need to shape our unique voice in an international way. That’s a difficult task, but that’s also what I want to bring to Sun World Ba Na Hills via Sunshine Carnival".

Before the official launch of Sunshine Carnival in June 2019, three mini-shows, each featuring some of the unique colors from the three most special regions in the Sunshine Kingdom, will be held at Sun World Ba Na Hills in the end of May 2019 to coincide with B’estival 2019, known as the Vietnamese version of Oktoberfest.

Explaining the rationale for for investing in such a large-scale art show, Dang Minh Truong, chairman of the Sun Group said: "With our dream of delivering world-class entertainment to Vietnam, we will never hesitate investing a lot of money and effort for producing a four-month-long cultural showpiece such as Sunshine Carnival, which will feature many thrilling performances through the summer.

A costume designed by Tom Trandt for Sunshine Kingdom

A costume designed by Tom Trandt for Sunshine Kingdom.

"Naturally, we wish to offer tourists many exciting experiences and fun-filled activities when they visit Sun World Ba Na Hills. We also wish to continually ‘raise the bar’ and make Ba Na Hills a venue for the most amazing cultural events that will impress visitors from all over the world. With Sunshine Carnival, Sun World Ba Na Hills will go to new heights."

Truong also said that besides the carnival, the system of Sun World complexes, including Sun World Fansipan Legend in Sa Pa, Sun World Halong Complex in Ha Long, Sun World Danang Wonders in Da Nang and Sun World Hon Thom Nature Park in South Phu Quoc, would soon be "lit up" with many more artistic extravaganzas planned for the year.

The celebratory atmosphere of Sunshine Carnival this year coincides with the 10th anniversary of Sun World Ba Na Hills, which has been one the top tourist destinations in Vietnam since its opening in 2009.

Home to Vietnam’s newest must-see tourist attraction, Golden Bridge, a charming ‘French Village’, flower gardens and much much more, Sun World Ba Na Hills, developed under the vision of Sun Group, has helped make Da Nang an exciting, global destination for both domestic and foreign tourists.

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