Thứ Hai, 28 tháng 7, 2008

THUÝ NGA-PARIS BY NIGHT-25 năm:1 chặng đuờng!



PARIS BY NIGHT 94
25 Năm Kỷ Niệm PARIS BY NIGHT

1983 - 2008




LOOKING BACK AT 1983


This year we proudly celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Paris By Night. As we celebrate the momentous anniversary, let’s go back 25 years and see how all this began. Rewind back to 1983. This was a very notable year for the music world. It was during this year that legendary performer Karen Carpenter lost her battle with anorexia. It was also during this eventful year that we saw the immense rise of Michael Jackson into fame. 1983 also marked the formation of such bands as Bon Jovi, The Dust Brothers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Testament. Hit singles of 1983 included Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean; Irene Cara’s Flashdance…What a Feeling; and David Bowie’s Let’s Dance.

Chúng ta tự hào đón mừng lễ kỉ niệm 25 năm ngày thành lập Paris By Night (PBN)…Thiết nghĩ nên nhìn lại khoảnh khắc lịch sử ấy..Năm 1983…. quả là 1 năm với nhiều biến động của nền âm nhạc thế giới..Karen Carpenter, nữa ca sĩ của band Carpenters huyền thoại qua đời vì chứng biếng ăn..M.Jackson đang trên đỉnh cao danh vọng…Cũng là năm ra đời của những band nổi tiếng như Bon Jovi, RHCP...




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IN THE BEGINNING


Amongst this worldly music scene, in the autumn of 1983, a little independent company, located in a modest office in Paris, would release a video that would forever change the face of Vietnamese music…Paris By Night #1. It’s very difficult to imagine that Paris By Night has been around for a quarter of a century already! However, the Paris By Night of 1983 is very different from the shows that we know today. At that time, it took only $19,000 to produce the program. I say ‘only’ very cautiously, because $19,000 was considered a very large financial burden at that time for this company. The first Paris By Night consisted of 11 songs, performed by 8 singers. The first few years were very unstable for the company and videos would be released inconsistently. But this was the general description and attitude of the Vietnamese community at large during this time. In the early 1980s, the Vietnamese community only consisted of the first generation of immigrants. The communities at the time were scattered and everyone’s financial status was still very capricious. However, due to love of music, and through determination and hard work, Thúy Nga slowly released additional Paris By Night programs, although the amount of sales was still considered to be very minimal and unimpressive.
Với bối cảnh âm nhạc thế giới như thế, mùa thu 1983, 1 hãng đĩa đã ra đời tại căn phòng nhỏ tại Paris và phát hành sản phẩm đầu tiên mang tên PBN#1, đã làm thay đổi bộ mặt âm nhạc Việt Nam mãi mãi. Cũng phải nói thêm là PBN lúc ấy khác hoàn toàn những gì chúng ta đang thưởng lãm hôm nay.Thời ấy cần 19.000 Mỹ kim để sản xuất 1 chương trình. 19000 USD là 1 trở ngại về tài chính cho hãng đĩa lúc bấy giờ. PBN số 1 có 11 bài hát trình bày bởi 8 ca sĩ. Những năm đầu hãng đĩa tồn tại trong tình trạng cầm chừng và các sản phẩm cũng không đều đặn. Những năm 80 , cộng đồng người Việt là những người di dân thuộc thế hệ đầu , phân tán khắp nơi và tình trạng tài chính của mỗi gia đình rất eo hẹp. Dù thế, với tình yêu văn nghệ, Thuý Nga nỗ lực để cho ra đời thêm nhiều sản phẩm, mặc dù doanh số còn rất thấp và chưa gây tiếng vang lớn.


Then came another major obstacle: the assurgency of the Chinese-translated movies phenomenon. This was the major trend and past-time of the era. Because of these movies, people were even less interested in the Vietnamese-produced music programs. Even the Thúy Nga produced Khi Hoa Anh Đào Nở, Thành Được’s first movie taped outside of Vietnam, yielded very disappointing sales. The spread of the Chinese movies was devastating for Thúy Nga and nearly caused the disbandment of the company.
Một khó khăn khác xảy ra với trung trâm: hiện tượng phim bộ Tàu. Vì những cuốn film này, mọi người ít quan tâm hơn đến những sản phẩm nhạc Việt. Ngay cả khi trung tâm cho phát hành Khi hoa anh đào nở, cuốn băng đẩu tiên của ông vua không ngai cải lương VN Thành Được ca ngoài VN, doanh số cũng không như mong muốn. Hiện tượng phim Tàu suýt nữa đã làm phá sản trung tâm



Then came a miraculous turning point for the company…the release of Giã Biệt Sàigòn, a documentary / music video. At the time of this release, information and news coming in and out of Vietnam was very scarce. People were unaware of what the situation was like back at home. Communication and travel in and out of the country was extremely limited. The release of this video immediately brought back a flood of memories and tears for all who left after the fall of Saigon. This video was considered a tremendous success for Thúy Nga both artistically and financially and ultimately allowed the company to resume production.




Để rồi..một phép màu đã xảy ra với trung tâm qua việc phát hành cuốn nhạc/tài liệu Gĩa Biệt SG. Thời ấy, thông tin từ ngoài vào VN hay ngược lại còn rất hạn chế, những người lưu vong hầu như không biết tình cảnh quê nhà ra sao. Việc phát hành cuốn video này ngay lập tức mang đến bao nhiêu kỉ niệm cũng như nước mắt những ai rời SG sau ngày sụp đổ. Một thành công vang dội cả về mặt tài chính cũng như nghệ thuật, cho phép trung tâm tiếp tục hoạt động.






MASTERS OF CEREMONY


The first six Paris By Night programs were produced utilizing an MTV format. At the encouragement of the President of Euro Media productions, an MC element was introduced beginning with Paris By Night 7. The very first MC was Jo Marcel. Over the years, Paris By Night has been guided by many MCs including Jo Marcel, Trần Văn Trạch, Hương Lan, Việt Thảo, La Thoại Tân, Ngọc Phu, Kim Anh, Trần Quốc Bảo, Đỗ Văn, Lê Văn, Huyền Châu, Mai Phương, Hồng Đào, Nguyễn Văn Thịnh, and Tô Chấn Phong.

But the two most identifiable and perhaps the two people who have added the most substance and character to the Paris By Night programs are Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên. It is undeniable that these two have played a very large role in the success of Paris By Night throughout the years. There is a reason that this pair has been called “irreplaceable.” Their interactions with the audience and with each other have added an additional dimension of entertainment to each Paris By Night program.

6 cuốn đầu của PBN là những cuốn băng quay theo dạng MTV. Với sự động viên của chủ tịch hãng Euro Media, MC đã xuất hiện trên PBN từ cuốn số 7. MC đầu tiên là Jo Marcel. Tiếp theo, những MC còn có Trần Văn Trạch, Hương Lan, Việt Thảo, La Thoại Tân, Ngọc Phu, Kim Anh, Trần Quốc Bảo, Đỗ Văn, Lê Văn, Huyền Châu, Mai Phương, Hồng Đào, Nguyễn Văn Thịnh, and Tô Chấn Phong.

Nhưng 2 MC để lại dấu ấn và có thể xem như thương hiệu cho PBN là Nguyễn Ngọc Ngạn và Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên. Không ngoa khi nói rằng cả 2 đã làm cho PBN thành công hơn theo thời gian. Sự tương tác giữa 2 Mc cũng như với khán giả càng tăng thêm sự thú vị cho mỗi chương trình


LOCATIONS


For the first ten years in production, all Paris By Night programs were taped in Paris. As time has progressed, Paris By Night has spread its wings and has held numerous shows in several California cities including: Cerritos, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Buena Park, and San Jose. Paris By Night 32, which looked back at the 20 year journey after the fall of Saigon, was taped at the Shrine Auditorium where the Academy Awards were presented prior to the recent completion of the Kodak Theater. Paris By Night 29 and 37 were taped at the renowned Caesar’s Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas in 1994 and 1996 respectively. Houston, Texas has been home to two Paris By Nights spanning 11 years in between: Paris By Night 36 taped in 1996 and Paris By Night 88 taped in 2007. In 2006, Atlanta was chosen as the taping location for Paris By Night 84. While in Atlanta, the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center was chosen. The Atlanta Civic Center boasts the largest performance stage in the Southeast. Outside of the United States, Toronto has been chosen several times, with Paris By Night 38 marking the first edition taped in the Canadian city. While in Toronto, the CBC Television studio is most often used, however the John Bassett Theater at the Metro Convention Center has also been used.

10 năm đầu, PBN được quay hình ở Paris, sau đó, đã “tung cánh” bay đến những thành phố thuộc Cali Cerritos, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Buena Park, and San Jose. Và sau đó đi đến những bang có nhiều người Việt trên khắp nước Mỹ...




2007 marked a very exciting endeavor as Paris By Night 89 was taped at the Olympic Fencing Stadium in Seoul, Korea. Because of the sheer size of the venue, two stages had to be constructed! Another very exciting aspect of the Korea show was that Thúy Nga collaborated with a touring company and allowed audiences from around the world to attend the Paris By Night 89 taping while also taking in the sites of Korea and another Asian country.

2007 đánh đấu 1 bước phát triển mới khi PBN89 ghi hình tại quảng trường Olympic Fencing tại Seoul, Hàn Quốc, và đã phải dựng 2 sân khấu bởi sự rộng lớn của địa điểm này. 1 điều thú vị khác là lần đầu tiên, Thúy Nga hợp tác cùng những cty du lịch kết hợp tour kèm với xem show 89.

HONORING THE COMPOSERS


Throughout the course of the past 25 years, Paris By Night has held a very honorable tradition of allowing the audience to meet many of Vietnamese music’s most prolific composers. It has also been a desire to introduce these composers to the audience and to honor them for their contributions to Vietnamese music. In many aspects, this is seen as a tribute to those who have played a vital role in shaping Vietnamese music throughout history.

Some of the men who have been honored through special Paris By Night editions include: Phạm Duy (PBN 19, 30), Ngô Thụy Miên (PBN 21, 66), Lam Phương (PBN 22, 28, 88), Văn Phụng (PBN 27), Đức Huy (PBN 33), Hoàng Thi Thơ (PBN 41, 47), Tuấn Khanh (PBN 64), Vũ Thành An (PBN 64), Từ Công Phụng (PBN 64), Trần Trịnh (PBN 66), Nhật Ngân (PBN 66), Phạm Mạnh Cương (PBN 70), Lê Dinh (PBN 70), Trường Sa (PBN 70), Huỳnh Anh (PBN 74), Nguyễn Hiền (PBN 74), Sông Ngọc (PBN 74), Quốc Dũng (PBN 78), Châu Kỳ (PBN 78), Tùng Giang (PBN 78), Xuân Tiên (PBN 83), Thanh Sơn (PBN 83), Nguyễn Ánh 9 (PBN 83). Of this impressive list, we have sadly since their Paris By Night appearance lost Hoàng Thi Thơ, Văn Phụng and Châu Kỳ. It is often said that even though they are no longer with us…their music will forever remain in our hearts.

1 chặng đường 25 năm, truyền thống đáng ca ngợi của PBN là vinh danh các nhạc sỹ. không những giới thiệu những tác phẩm của họ đến công chúng mà còn nhằm vinh danh những đóng góp của họ đến nền tân nhạc VN

Với list những nhạc sỹ vô cùng ấn tượng như thế, chúng ta phải ngậm ngùi chia tay với các NS Hoàng Thi Thơ, Văn Phụng và Châu Kỳ.




DANCING AND CHOREOGRAPHY


One of the many aspects which set Paris By Night apart from all other productions are the dancers and the accompanying choreography. Even though not always seen on screen, each and every one of the dancers puts in his or her entire soul into each performance. They not only dance, they also act. Their movements are precise, elaborate, and definite. In addition to their graceful movements, they all tell the story of the song with their facial expressions as well. Through the years, Paris By Night


has assembled a very elite group of young dancers that are comparable with some of the world’s greatest dancing ensembles.

1 điều đặc biệt để tách biệt PBN với những sản phẩm khác là phần biểu diễn của vũ công cũng như công trình dàn dựng những tác mục này. Những vũ công thượng thặng của Hollywood không những đang nhảy, mà còn là diễn xuất. Những bước di chuyển của họ thật chính xác, hoà quyện với nhau và thật dứt khoát...


Several of the Paris By Night dancers have moved on to garner International acclaim. Addie Yungmee and Dominique Chaiduang is currently on tour with Celine Dion. Pam Chu is currently in Las Vegas for a Cirque de Soleil engagement. Vinh Bui and Scotty Nguyen have danced with the sensational Spice Girls.

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Besides that, the recently taped Paris By Night 93 appropriately titled “Celebrity Dancing” features some of Hollywood’s most well-known and trained ballroom dancers. This includes Anya (Dancing with the Stars), Pasha Kovalev (So You Think You Can Dance), and Brian Fortuna (Dancing with the Stars, featured dancer in The Aviator).
Thêm nữa, với cuốn 93 mới ghi hình gần đây, PBN đã mời thêm những bậc thầy dancer vang danh như Anya ( Dancing with the stars), Pasha ( So u think u can dance)....


A large reason for the greatness of the Paris By Night dancers is through the unrivaled dedication, direction, and talent of Shanda Sawyer. At a very young age, Shanda began her dancing and choreography career. What is truly amazing is that Shanda can feel and express the emotions of each song while not understanding the language and this is very evident in her countless choreographed routines on the Paris By Night stage. She can truly embrace the spirit of the song. Paris By Night 34, taped in 1995, marked Shanda’s first appearance as choreographer for Thúy Nga productions. She has been the primary choreographer for this production ever since. Her unique talent and imagination have elevated the performances on Paris By Night to new heights. Besides Paris By Night, her impressive list of credits includes: Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus, Dancing with the Stars ’07 Live Tour, Ghost Whisperer, Las Vegas, Disney Animal Kingdom, and Seigfried and Roy. That is just a small sample of Shanda’s incredible achievements!


Những màn vũ tuyệt vời không thể không nhắc đến tài năng, cùng với sự hướng dẫn tận tuỵ cống hiến của Shanda Sawyer. Khởi nghiệp từ khi trẻ, xuất hiện đầu tiên ở PBN35, có thể nói Shanda đã góp phần nâng tầm PBN lên 1 vị thế mới, thật đặc biệt là tuy khác biệt về ngôn ngữ, song Shanda đã biên đạo những tiết mục thật xuất sắc và những màn vũ thật xuất sắc, đầy ấn tượng. Cô đã có công lớn khi đưa PBN trở thành sản phẩm video đầu tiên của người Việt( cả trong và ngoài nước) tham gia cuộc thi tầm cỡ thế giới làAmerican Choreography Awards ( tạm gọi là những màn múa sau ống kính), thật hãnh diện khi biết những đối thủ của PBN trong cuộc thi đó là: Celine Dion in Las Vegas, The Wayne Brady Show, Cher – The Farewell Tour, and MadTV




Under her direction, the choreographed performances from Paris By Night 67 in San Jose were nominated for the very prestigious American Choreography Awards. The American Choreography Awards were founded in 1994 to recognize outstanding achievements in Film, Television, Commercial, and Music Video. This nomination can be considered as a ground-breaking event for Vietnamese music entertainment. Nominated in the same category with Paris By Night were Celine Dion in Las Vegas, The Wayne Brady Show, Cher – The Farewell Tour, and MadTV. While the award did not ultimately go to Shanda Sawyer and Paris By Night, it is still a very distinguished honor in knowing that Paris By Night is being watched and recognized by the international entertainment community. Furthermore, this nomination speaks to the continued strive for greatness from both Thúy Nga and from Shanda Sawyer.


LOOKING FORWARD


It is incredible to think that it has been 25 years since Paris By NightParis By Night 93 and has released up to Paris By Night 92. This coming September, in Long Beach, Thúy Nga will elaborately celebrate the official 25th Anniversary with the taping of Paris By Night 94 to be released at the end of the year. We have clearly seen an improvement in terms of artistry, concept, and technology with each new edition of Paris By Night. From the single VHS tapes first produced, we moved to double tapes, then triple tapes, and now we’re at the DVD. Technology and audience demand will dictate where we go on from here.
Thật quá sức tưởng tượng đã 25 trôi qua. PBN chuẩn bị ghi hình cuốn 94, vào tháng 9 tới tại Long Beach và sẽ phát hành vào cuối năm. Từ dạng băng VHS tới double tape, triple tape và nay là DVD.


It is amazing to realize that for the past 25 years Thúy Nga continues to be the number one and the most watched Vietnamese music production. Nearly every aspiring singer will tell you that their ultimate dream is to one day have the opportunity to step onto the Paris By Night stage. There is just a halo of prestige that comes with being a Paris By Night singer that one cannot achieve elsewhere. We have seen many singers come and go in the past 25 years, and while fame may be a very subjective measurement, it can be said that each singer became more “famous” by performing on the Paris By Night stage. Throughout the years, Paris By Night has introduced many new singers to the audience while elevating and sustaining the fame of those singers who were already established. While natural vocal talent and performing skills are a must for any singer, those natural talents cannot equate to much if it cannot be carried out to the audience. Paris By Night, throughout the past 25 years, has become a medium for singers to flourish and blossom.
...25 năm qua, Thúy Nga giữ vững vị trí số 1 của mình trong lòng khaá thính giả. Hầu hết những ca sỹ đều thổ lộ ước mơ lớn nhất của họ là 1 ngày nào đó có cơ hội bước chân lên sân khấu Thuý Nga. Và đó cũng là danh vọng của bất cứ ai gia nhập vào gia đình PBN. Nhiều ca sỹ đã đến và đi, và mặc dầu, thước đo danh vọng là 1 điều gì đó chủ quan, nhưng phải thừa nhận rằng, bất kì ai từng xuất hiện trên TN, sau đó sẽ nổi tiếng hơn. Sân khấu TN, 25 năm qua, là nơi ươm mầm và nuôi dưỡng cho những giọng hát thăng hoa.


One of the continued efforts of Paris By Night is to always challenge themselves and they are constantly discovering new ways to be unique and different. In a business where music written 50 years ago continues to be extremely popular, and sometimes preferred, it may be very difficult to move away from that comfort zone of always recycling “old” songs and ideas. But without finding new ideas and new talents, programs can easily become static. The only way to move forward is through challenges and new approaches. This has continued to be the philosophy held by Paris By Night. In 2006, Thúy Nga took on a massive challenge by broadcasting the Talent Shows Live over the internet. While the entire process created some problems, it does again speak of Thúy Nga’s continued strive for something new, something different, and something excellent.
Với những nỗ lực không ngừng, PBN luôn luôn thử thách chính mình và tìm tòi những thể nghiệm mới. Nền tân nhạc VN đã trải qua 50 năm, thật khó để phát triển với những bài hát và ý tửơng cũ.


With 93 Paris By Nights already produced and while it cannot be boasted that every program is perfect, it can be said that the heart and soul of everyone involved in the production were poured into these programs. It can be said that they are very proud of all 93 editions of Paris By Night. And what is even more important and something that we can all be proud of is that for the past 25 years, Paris By Night has played a very large role in maintaining and sustaining the culture of Vietnamese music overseas.
1 điều quan trọng hơn cả là PBN có quyền tự hào với 93 chương trình của mình góp 1 phần không nhỏ trong việc duy trì và phát triển văn hoá Việt Nam ở hải ngoại. Chúng ta đang chào đón lể kỉ niệm 25 năm của trung tâm. Tự hỏi có thể còn mấy lần như thế. Và thử hỏi, thế giới sẽ ra sao nếu vắng bóng PBN?

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I hate to end this article of reminiscence on a sad note, but unfortunately through all the challenges and frustrations Paris By NightParis By Night name. And while piracy has always been an issue, due to the age of technology in which we live, it is now very simple and very accessible for anyone to commit these piracy crimes. This is a battle that Paris By Night cannot fight alone. If we are to expect Paris By Night to advance further in terms of artistry, technology, and quality we must unite together to stop this horrendous situation. Just put yourself in the shoes of everyone involved in making a grand production as Paris By Night Paris By Night achievement, how many more anniversaries can we expect if the situation does not change? Can you imagine a world without Paris By Night? has faced throughout the past 25 years, the occurrence of piracy is perhaps the most severe and it is slowly crippling, not only Thúy Nga, but other Vietnamese music productions as well. Piracy is slowly chipping away at all the hard work that has been put into establishing the and imagine what it must feel like to have all of your hard work stolen in front of your eyes. I know it sounds like a broken record when talking about piracy, but the reality of the situation is that things are getting worse and not better. We need to all take a stand and change the attitude of those who commit these crimes soon. We need to make a pact to not purchase and not let anyone we know purchase pirated copies and buy only original products. This truly is a very dire situation, but if we commit and start a chain of what we know to be true and right, we can make a difference. We are celebrating 25 years of




25 years. That is truly amazing. It is both such a long time, yet 25 years for some can go by within a blink of an eye. My parents left Vietnam in 1975 and they often say they cannot believe 33 years have already gone by. But for 25 years, through 93 programs, Paris By NightParis By Night has moved far from being just an entertainment program and it is in itself a culture all on its own. Besides being of entertainment value, it’s also a lesson in culture, language, politics, history, and fashion. But beyond that, Paris By NightParis By Night. It may sound very cliché, but Paris By Night has impacted me in so many ways. It is truly my source of joy and excitement, and where I turn to in times of sadness and frustration. In addition, Paris By Night has played a very large part in my understanding of the Vietnamese culture and language. And I’m sure many of you out there hold this same sentiment. Whether you’re a fan or not, you cannot deny that resiliency and the greatness that Paris By Night has brought to the Vietnamese community. We should all be very grateful and very proud of the accomplishments Paris By Night Paris By Night and Thank you for everything!!!! has entertained the Vietnamese community. They have made us laugh, and cry, and rejoice. has done the incredible job of uniting the Vietnamese communities of the world together by creating that bond of common interest no matter where you live. On a personal note, I am 26 years old this year, so it can pretty much be said that I have grown up with has garnered in the past 25 years. I will be there come September to celebrate in these 25th Anniversary celebrations, and I hope I will see many of you there as well. One last time, Happy 25th Anniversary

Với ai đó, 25 năm thoáng qua như 1 chớp mắt, song 25 năm qua, PBN đã phục vụ và là món ăn tinh thần không thể thiếu của cộng đồng Việt ngữ. PBN khiến chúng ta khóc, cười, hân hoan đón nhận. Chính bản thân nó đã là 1 “nền văn hoá”. Ngoài giá trị giải trí, PBN còn là những giá trị về ngôn ngữ, chính trị, lịch sử, thời trang…Nó gắn kết người Việt với nhau dù bạn ở bất cứ đâu…. Dù bạn có là1 fan của chương trình này hay không, cũng không thể phủ nhận những điềi tuyệt vời mà PBN đã đem đến cho cộng đồng người Việt.

Xin cám ơn, PBN, vì …tất cả những gì mà bạn đem đến cho chúng tôi!

John Nguyễn ( 07/2008)

Lược dịch: by me


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