Viet Nam News
HCM CITY— Even the most talented dancers can look like amateurs if they have never received proper training.
Unfortunately, that happens far too often in Việt Nam, says ballet dancer Trần Hoàng Yến, deputy head of the HCM City Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera’s ballet troupe.
"I want to make the ballet stage different by lending my experience and skill to my younger colleagues," said the 27-year-old Yến, considered to be one of the city’s few professional ballet dancers.
Yến, who also works as a lecturer for the HCM City School of Dance (HSD), said she hopes Vietnamese dancers will begin to have more performance opportunities.
“I spent more than 12 years at the HSD, one of the region’s leading dance schools, before working as a dancer,” she added.
Yến has also joined different training courses at home and abroad because the courses focused on modern repertory, jazz dancing, and yoga, which helped the dancers can improve themselves.
Yến was the key dancer in numerous dance programmes and ballets such as Carmen, Swan Lake, Petrushka and The Nutcracker. Her performance left a very strong impression on audiences.
“Yến faced challenges in ballet, an art that is not popular with local youth. She has tried her best in both staging and teaching to overcome difficulties to introduce the art to people,” said Meritorious Artist and choreographer Trần Ly Ly of the deputy head of the HSD.
Yến still keeps to a strict regime of several hours of practice a day. "I want to follow in my teachers’ footsteps, showing my young students how to become professional ballet dancers.”
Unlike Yến, contemporary dancer Phạm Lịch spent several different works before becoming a dancer.
"I love dancing. I dreamed of becoming a dancer although no one in my family supported me. I thought it would be too difficult to continue," said Lịch, winner of the Thử Thách Cùng Bước Nhảy (So You Think You Can Dance) in 2013, a Vietnamese version of the same name American TV show.
"I looked like a bird without a nest. That limited my energy,” she recalled.
Lịch decided to study dance at a cultural house before joining amateur dance troupes.
After working with dancers, Lịch said that she understood that the most important thing for a dancer is to dance — anywhere and anytime. "No one and no event can limit my passion for dancing."
In 2010, she performed for UDG, a professional dance troupe led by Vietnamese-Canadian dancer and choreographer John Huy Trần.
“Working for the UDG made me feel very proud of my work. I’m a dancer and I worked very confidently next to my peers who have better working conditions," said Lịch.
Lịch, 25, now works as a freelance dancer, performing in many concerts, TV shows, cultural and art programmes and festivals.
Lịch’s peer, dancer and choreographer Huỳnh Mến, said:“I like working with young dancers because they impart their energy to their partners.”
Mến studied dance with skilled artists of the HSD. She has performed in many concerts launched by pop stars such as Noo Phước Thịnh, Thủy Tiên and Thanh Thảo.
She plans to be part of a dance programme created by American dancer Sabra Johnson next month.
“I was an amateur. I believe that only training can help dancers improve their skills,” said Mến, adding that she wanted to open a dance class for children and teenagers. — VNS