Tuesday, September 25 2018


Dance festival bridges cultures

Update: September, 28/2012 - 10:13


Dancer of the year: German dancer Brit Rodemund performs in Get a Revolver about a woman who suffers from dementia at the end of her life and who begins to slide into a dream world which gradually dissolves her personality. — Photo courtesy Goethe Institute
HA NOI (VNS)— The second Contemporary Dance Festival will take place tonight and tomorrow night at the Youth Theatre in Ha Noi, offering the public an occasion to enjoy original contemporary dance pieces from Viet Nam, Belgium and Germany.

The Goethe Institute and Wallonia-Brussels Delegation in Viet Nam continue to pursue their collaboration with the Viet Nam National Opera and Ballet Theatre to present the festival.

"With the different topics, the organisers wish to present varieties of contemporary dance to the Vietnamese and international public and also the cultural diversity of Europe and Viet Nam," said Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch, head of the Goethe Institute.

The two-day event, with the theme Europe Meets Viet Nam in Contemporary Dance, is expected to promote and enhance the value of contemporary dance while creating a bridge for artists to exchange and share experiences, Meyer-Zollitsch said.

Among the pieces to be performed, a work called Lamento by Belgian choreographer Michele Anne De Mey created with her long-term collaborator, dancer Gabriella Lacono, is based on a fragment of Monteverdi's unfinished opera Arianna.

The contribution from German choreographer Helena Waldmann is entitled Get a Revolver. The solo performance by dancer Brit Rodemund, who was named Dancer of the Year in Germany, shows the character of a woman who suffers from dementia at the end of her life, beginning to slide towards a dream world which gradually dissolves her personality.

Minus, a new piece by the Viet Nam National Opera and Ballet Theatre, was choreographed by Ngoc Anh, who trained at the Vietnamese Dance College and at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He has worked with theatres and companies in Hong Kong, the US and UK and was one of six choreographers who created the Swanning Around show for the English National Ballet's education department in 2010.

Viet Nam National Opera and Ballet director Pham Anh Phuong said contemporary dance first appeared in Viet Nam in the mid-1990s and was received by the local dance community only reservedly. Works produced prior to or around this time were almost all by Vietnamese dancers who had received training in Europe, or from Asian countries like China and India with a strong dance tradition.

"It still takes time for Vietnamese audiences to appreciate contemporary dance," Phuong said. "I hope that the festival will help them to enjoy the diverse styles of contemporary dance and become more familiar with them."

The Goethe Institute will also host an artists' talk with the participants on Sunday at 3pm, giving the audience an opportunity to ask questions about the dance pieces. — VNS

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