Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — German, South Korean and Vietnamese artists will together bring the Promise to 800 dance back to the stage of the HCM City Opera House this week.
According to the organisers, the dance is based on a true story about the life of the last prince of Việt Nam’s Lý dynasty, Lý Long Tường, who lived in exile in Korea in the early 13th century.
After escaping from a rebellion, Prince Tường sailed on a distant sea route and landed at Ongjin land in the southern Korea Peninsula (known as the Goryeo nation at the time).
He helped local inhabitants defeat a band of pirates and led the army and locals to defeat Mongol invaders as well.
Prince Tường has been described as an embodiment of humanity, tolerance and the thirst for knowledge.
Today, there are about 2,000 descendants in Korea with connection to the Prince.
The script for Promise to 800 was written by stage director Jung Sun Goo and the choreography is by dancer Chun Yoo Oh.
Chun will also perform the routine together with young dancers Trần Hòang Yến and Sùng A Lùng and the Y.O. Saigon Dance Ensemble dancers.
Chun graduated from Ewha Woman’s University in South Korea, where she obtained a PhD in art. She then studied analysis of movement at the University of Surrey in the UK.
From 1991 to 2004, she worked as a professor at Seowon University in South Korea and choreographed major shows.
She has choreographed and danced in Ariang Saigon at the city’s Opera House in 2014, Cross-Bow and Promise to 800 in 2015 - both based on Vietnamese historical stories - and Myth of Woman in 2016.
The dance’s music is a blend of Oriental and Western styles by German pianist and jazz player Peter Schindler, who has released 10 CDs and composed music for opera and TV dramas.
Schindler will play the piano and organ along with Vietnamese đàn bầu (monochord) player Lê Hoài Phương, Korean gayageum (an instrument with 12 strings) player Ha Sera and percussionist Kim Ji Hye.
The show will also feature dramatic actor Bùi Như Lai, who has more than 10 years of experience in acting. He has received many awards in Việt Nam as well as other countries, including China, Egypt, Thailand and Cambodia.
Promise to 800 was first introduced in HCM City and Hà Nội in 2015, receiving a warm welcome from critics and audiences. This year, the dance will open the HCM City-Gyeongju World Culture Expo 2017, which takes place from November 11 to December 3.
The dance will be presented during three shows on November 10, 11 and 12 at the opera house, 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1. Free tickets are available at the venue. — VNS