Vietnam's variety of traditional dances will sink into oblivion if they are not well-preserved, the chairman of the Hanoi Dancers' Association Nguyen Van Bich said.

To preserve the country's traditional dances, the association early this year launched a project that will collect, record and film 40 traditional dances from northern provinces, added Bich.

Dozens of cultural researchers, dancers and choreographers from traditional art troupes in the region will taking part in the project.

"We have also discussed the changes needed to develop the country's dance profession," said Bich, adding that training and management activities would take a vital role in improving and preserving the profession.

"We want to nurture the arts, and address the challenges that dancers face," he said.

Hanoi has 80 traditional dances, mostly dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

Many of them highlight the beauty of women in work and daily life.

Most of the beautiful old dances were created by artists in villages such as Lo Khe, Trieu Khuc, Phu Nhieu and Le Mat in districts Dong Anh, Thanh Tri, Phu Xuyen and Long Bien.

The dances tell the stories of the country's history, culture, religion and lifestyle in different periods.

Bich said that since 2006 his association had encouraged prestigious dance schools, such as the Vietnam Dance College and Army Culture Art University, to join the preservation effort.

He believes these schools can keep old dances alive by offering dancing classes for their students.

"One of our key problems is how to create more opportunities for dancers, particularly young dancers, to perform traditional dances on stage," he added.

Artisan Nguyen Thi Thom of Le Mat Village agreed, saying that without young talents, old dances would not be able to attract new audiences.

Thom and her colleagues have staged many performances to support the association's goal.

"I was very sad when I realised that traditional dances are not popular with local youth. Meanwhile, our artisans have to face so many difficulties to preserve the traditional dances," she said.

Thom values the profession because "one can dance anywhere and anytime". She has performed old dances at many local festivals and events. Thom also works as a dance teacher at local cultural houses.

"I want to follow in my mothers' footsteps, teaching young people how to perform traditional dances ," said the 72-year-old.-VNA