March, 24 2014 09:17:34

Avant-garde moves on show

Posturing: Hearing-impaired dancers of the Together Higher troupe will stage a contemporary dance choreographed by Le Vu Long to open the Viet Nam in the 70s show tomorrow. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam's leading contemporary choreographers will gather to present their blooming creativeness in upcoming performances in Ha Noi.

The show, entitled Viet Nam in the 70s, is the result of an art project initiated by Le Vu Long – an avant-garde artist who popularised the modern form in Viet Nam, where only classical style was previously recognised.

Aiming to create a playground for contemporary choreographers and further promote the art form in Viet Nam, the project has received sponsorship from the Danish Cultural Development and Exchange Fund (CDEF).

According to Long, for Viet Nam and its people, the 1970s is a very important period which created tremendous changes in many aspects, including history, culture and society.

"This historical period has strongly influenced Vietnamese choreographers and their works, lasting until today. It can be said that this stage has formed an art trend with traditional, realistic and patriotic images.

"However, in this project we want to use the language of contemporary dance to deepen the ‘humanism' that has not been much exploited," said Long, explaining why he named his project Viet Nam in the 70s.

"Instead of focusing on praising mighty, imposing images, we will centre on the feelings and psychological changes of people living through this period," said Long, who studied the conventional Vietnamese dance curriculum of classical, ballet, traditional, folk and foreign styles, before penetrating contemporary style in 1992 when he was 19 years old.

The Viet Nam in the 70s programme will open tomorrow with a repertoire choreographed by himself.

Entitled Mot Tap The Cac Ca Nhan (A Group of Individuals), the dance will be staged by members of the dance company Together Higher – Viet Nam's first contemporary dance troupe, which was founded by Long and his wife, Luu Thu Lan.

Since its debut in 2002, the troupe, gathering only hearing-impaired dancers, has attracted significant public attention as they sponsored several intensive activities in contemporary art, expanding their approach to audiences.

Long said the one-hour programme is his latest work of the last four years. Celebrated DJ and musician Tri Minh will offer his contemporary music to accompany the dance.

Following the debut performance tomorrow, the second show on Wednesday will feature the newest works by four other choreographers.

Together with three other dancers, choreographer Quach Hoang Diep will be on stage to present his work, Khong Gian Goc (Basic Space).

The choreographer, who was one of the key dancers of the Ballet Atlantic in France, said he received the inspiration for his work from his own childhood memories.

He said that in the 1970s, children were often locked up in the house all day when their parents were at work. Instead of playing outdoors, the children would dive into their own magical world of imagination.

"When people get older, once they are faced with many irrational and cruel things, they become depressed, worried, or even hate their lives. Symbolically, every person has a locked house in his soul. And what is the way he unlocks himself?" Diep said.

Like Diep, Quach Phuong Hoang also sharpened his dancing talent in France for more than 10 years.

Returning to Viet Nam in 2007, Hoang began his choreographic career. In 2009, he founded the LIME contemporary dance troupe, which has performed his works on many stages across Europe.

On Wednesday night, Hoang will introduce his dance, Te Bao (The Cell), which he will perform, along with another dancer.

The night will also feature the work Ben Doi (Wharf of Waiting) choreographed by Nguyen Dung – currently a soldier-artist of the Military Theatre.

Being in the army over the past 22 years, Dung has been strongly influence by the patriotic art genre of the 1970s. However, he has followed the flow of the growing tendency of modern art forms and has approached contemporary dance to express his inner thoughts.

Dung's repertoire – a blending of both patriotic and contemporary dance – will be staged by dance students from the College of Theatre and Cinematography.

The only female choreographer joining the Viet Nam in the 70s project, Tran Ly Ly, will join her colleagues in the performance with her own piece.

One of a few female choreographers who has been studying and working abroad, Ly has become well-known due to several independent works, such as One Day and Life in a Box.

Currently the vice director of the HCM City Dance School, Ly is also a judge of the Vietnamese version of the Dancing with the Star competition.

The choreographer will show off her creativeness by presenting her latest work on Wednesday night.

Her piece entitled 7X is a story of an individual growing up during the 1970s. The social change has affected the man's mental development. His being torn between reason and emotion drives his inner conflict, which is growing stronger. He then has to struggle with himself to find a solution to escape his conflicts. Viet Nam in the 70s will take place at the Ha Noi Opera House. Free tickets for both performances can be reserved by emailing: togetherhigher@gmail.com. — VNS

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