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Hearing-impaired dancers all set for Germany

Update: May, 13/2013 - 10:56
Body language: Dance piece Sigh Memory by the Together Higher troupe will debut at the Pfalzbau Theatre in Ludwigshafen, Germany. — File Photo
HA NOI (VNS)— Vietnamese hearing-impaired dancers will present Sigh Memory choreographed by Le Vu Long to audiences at the Pfalzbau Theatre in Ludwigshafen, Germany on May 17.

The idea for Sigh Memory came to choreographer Long when his troupe was on a US tour in 2007. Long and his dancers met and talked with American audiences who were interested in Vietnamese contemporary dance and wanted to know more about Viet Nam.

"One of my dancers was asked why he was deaf and I interpreted that his father was an Agent Orange victim. All of the audience was very moved and I heard a sigh from somewhere," Long recalls.

The idea turned into a reality after Long started working with musician Tri Minh. The two artists spent over six months figuring out a common language between body and music, and the 10 dancers chosen to perform the routine were from the Together Higher dance company.

Sigh Memory will be accompanied by a piano performance by Tri Minh.

"Performing with Together Higher is very special for me. I was very surprised by the hearing-impaired dancers because they feel music so well," said Tri Minh.

"After one month working with the dancers, I could see that they were very sensitive and their body's reactions to sound were precise."

Sigh Memory debuted in Ha Noi in 2009 and at the Hue Festival in 2010 under the auspices of the Ford Foundation and the Danish Cultural and Development Exchange Fund. A tour of Europe was scheduled in 2010 but was delayed due to the global economic crisis, said Long.

After their show at the 1,400-seat theatre, a workshop will be held on May 18 by the Together Higher troupe to share their experiences with amateur disabled dancers.

The show is a result of a contract between the Pfalzbau theatre and Together Higher.

"We are very proud of being able to show off our product at a renowned European theatre," said troupe manager Luu Thi Thu Lan.

"We hope the show will introduce Together Higher and contemporary Vietnamese dance to audiences in Germany and in Europe."

Established in 2002, it was the first contemporary dance company in Viet Nam.

Performances by Together Higher are usually choreographed with support from the Ford Foundation, the British Council, the New England Foundation for the Arts, and the World Bank. Works have been presented across Viet Nam and other countries including the US, Italy, Thailand and Cambodia. — VNS

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