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VietNamNews

Back-up dancers out of step with artists

Update: September, 04/2013 - 08:00
Off on the wrong foot: A HCM City professional dance group perform on stage. Many artists as well as music fans are dissatisfied by the quality of dancing they see in concerts, both live and on TV. — Photo dulichvn.org.vn

HCM CITY (VNS)— Having dance troupes accompany music performances has become an established practice, but many artists as well as music fans are dissatisfied by the quality of dancing they see in concerts, both live and on TV.

"Singers are increasingly turning to dancers to enliven their performances," said People's Artist Kim Quy.

"But many music concerts I've seen recently did not have suitable dances."

Quy, who is also vice president of Viet Nam Dancing Artists Association, said she has told concert organisers many times that excessive use of back-up dancers would spoil the music.

"But they've ignored me."

Many of HCM City's concert choreographers are former dancers, who have turned to their new career as the demand for dancers increases.

"Choreographers need to invest more time and effort in training dancers," Quy said.

The city now has more than 50 professional dance troupes, but sometimes they do not have sufficient members to meet demands. So concert organisers turn to amateurs, usually young men and women between 16 and 23 years of age, from dance clubs, aerobics classes or even the general public.

It is estimated that concerts organised every night in HCM City have more than 1,000 dancers performing.

"Two-thirds of these dancers have not had professional choreographic training, " said Quy, citing a recent survey done by HCM City's Dancing Artists Association.

"It's very easy to recruit dancers. They only need to have attractive appearance," stage manager Nguyen Dat said.

"After being recruited, they only have a few hours of practice for a show," Dat said, adding that many dancers don't pay much attention to training, but are focused on the money they get after each show.

"Many back-up dances in music concerts broadcast on television are much the same, " said People's Artist Nguyet Nga.

"The problem might rest with choreographers," Nga said.

Meritorious Artist Dang Hung said performances of unprofessional dancers in front of millions of viewers would spoil the audience's artistic and aesthetic sensibilities.

"Responsible officials in television stations must be more careful in broadcasting music programmes with accompanying dancers, " said Hung director of HCM City's Bong Sen (Lotus) Song and Dance Theatre.

"Many dancers wear scanty and unaesthetic costumes," said Nguyen My Nuong, a city resident. Another resident who did not want to be named said:

"Dances not suited to songs are becoming a widespread phenomenon.

"In a concert I saw recently in District 3, dancers wore Central Highlands ethnic minority costumes while singers performed a farmers' folk song from the Mekong Delta.

On the other hand, many teachers at the HCM City Dancing School said a pure dance production today is a relatively rare event in Viet Nam. Graduates from the school are often limited to accompanying singers at concerts, they said. — VNS


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