Viet Nam News
Đà Nẵng International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) 2017 will feature eight teams from Australia, Switzerland, Japan, United Kingdom, Austria, Italy, China and hosts Việt Nam. The festival was first held in 2008 with four international teams. This year, a series of unique events including a street festival and food festival will also bring tourists meaningful experiences.
The festival will be held from April 30 to June 24 in the central city of Đà Nẵng.
Culture vulture interviews festival director Lê Quý Dương about his first time directing the festival.
What surprises will DIFF 2017 make?
DIFF 2017 will be an extravagant festival. In previous editions the stage was set up beside the Hàn River. This year we will make a complex including a stage on space; on the river surface and along the river. A floating stage will have Ngũ Hành (Five Elements) theme based on five basic elements.
The festival will not just be a fireworks display. It will include a street festival and a food festival. The street festival will feature nine models symbolising the eight countries participating at the festival and Đà Nẵng City. The models will be decorated with the countries’ symbols such as Big Ben, the Tower Bridge and a double-decker bus for the UK and sakura flower and Torii gate for Japan.
The nine models will be mobile stages parading the streets of Đà Nẵng. There will be interactions between festival-goers and performers on the mobile stages.
The food festival will be hosted by master chef Phạm Tuấn Hải. The culinary space will be divided into five parts with dishes served in accordance with five basic elements. There will be grilled dishes at the fire section, the earth section will have dishes cooked in an earthen cooker and the water section will be a place for noodle soups.
At the food festival, visitors will learn more about delicious dishes and will have chance to cook with chefs.
We want to have interactions between the festival participants, locals and tourists. Furthermore, we want to organise an international fireworks festival based on the native culture and orient philosophy. Inspired by the image of Ngũ Hành Sơn (Marble Mountains) of Đà Nẵng, the performance programme will be represented and named after five elements Hỏa (Fire) - Thổ (Earth) - Kim (Metal) - Thủy (Water) - Mộc (Wood) over five nights.
With careful preparation, each performance is not only a festival of sound and light with impressive fireworks but also a master piece of art, illustrating the beautiful heritages of Việt Nam.
Could you describe more about the stages?
director Lê Quý Dương
The space stage will feature five balloons from South Korea. We plan to use two paramotors or balloons to shower down confetti making a sparkling sky at night.
The Hàn River surface will be an open stage. The stage will be decorated with five huge blocks featuring Ngũ Hành Sơn Mountain. We will use 20 floating models along 200m of the Hàn River. These models symbolise 20 years of its status as a central government city.
Artist Trịnh Hải Nam and I drew the 3D design but only artist Văn Tòng can turn the 3D design into reality. Tòng is a veteran and skilled artist. He uses new technology to make scenic designs which are 100 per cent accurate to the 3D drawing.
Could you tell us more about art shows at the DIFF 2017?
Australian aborigines will enthrall audiences with their traditional indigenous performances whilst Swiss artists will play the horn. Other countries like Japan, South Korea and China will also perform traditional art. We also invited international artists to perform at the festival.
Perfoming at the festival will be Vietnamese pop singers such as Thanh Lam; Mỹ Linh; Cao Minh and Kasim Hoàng Vũ and traditional artists including People’s Artist Bạch Hạc.
Huế Traditional Royal Arts Theatre will dance at the Fire night to open festival on April 30. The opening night will see a performance by hundreds of artists from Hội An Culture Centre with 100 lanterns. Đắc Lắc Traditional Art Troupe’s performance will be a highlight on the Metal night on May 27.
Artists from Phương Nam Art Enssemble will perform circus and entertainment shows during the festival.
In your opinion what is the significance of DIFF?
As one of tourists to the previous DIFF I regret attending a little because it was only a two-night firework competition. This year the festival will last nearly two months. It is Việt Nam’s first summer-long festival.
We hope DIFF will be bestowed the World Performing Arts Capital title by both UNESCO and International Theatre Institute in recognition of the quality of its programmes.
As a veteran festival director were you surprised when you were invited to direct the DIFF?
It was very surprising to me. And I’m proud of it. I have experienced different emotions during preparations. I recall all international events which I have participated in during my career. At this time, when comprehensive and detailed scripts are completed I’m nervous. I hope everything will be smooth and the DIFF will be a milestone not only of Đà Nẵng and Sun Group but also my company - Lê Quý Dương Company. — VNS