International dance festival kicks off

September 20, 2017 - 09:00

An annual contemporary dance festival featuring artists from Europe and Asia opens today with a dance titled “The Burrow” by German artists.

Thought-provoking: "The Burrow" will be performed by Isabelle Schad. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — An annual contemporary dance festival featuring artists from Europe and Asia opens today with a dance titled “The Burrow” by German artists.

"Europe Meets Asia in Contemporary Dance" includes a number of productions by artists who collaborated across national boundaries, including Germany, Belgium, Việt Nam, France, Canada, and Spain. The festival has run every year since 2011. The medium of dance, organisers say, can offer new insight on familiar themes.

"Dance is an artistic language which tells stories, expresses mental and emotional conditions in our lives and gives us new perspective," said Wilfried Eckstein, director of the Goethe Institute in Việt Nam and chief organiser of "Europe Meets Asia in Contemporary Dance". 

The festival kicks off with the 45-minute dance created by Berlin-based choreographer Isabelle Schad and visual artist Laurent Goldring. “The Burrrow” is inspired by Franz Kafka’s unfinished novella of the same title.

The dance will be performed by Shad in a mix of lush, ferocious and sometimes spare movement, performed nude. She uses an animal’s burrow as a metaphor for the human body. The Burrow is the latest in a series of influential visual art collaborations by Shad and Goldring, a former dancer.

Schad’s partner will be large swaths of fabric that she manipulates during the course of a physically intense, metaphorically-driven work. “The Burrow” describes the universe of an animal entrenched in a place to make it feel protected, dealing with the relationship between the human body and space. 

Later in the festival, Vietnamese and multi-national shows motivated by the “spirit of coproduction”, Eckstein said, will feature local and international dancers.

Representing Việt Nam, the Wintercearig dance project by Tricia Nguyễn tests the limits of dance for therapy and innovates new treatment methods. The project examines symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders. The piece entitled "Disorder" will be performed at HCM City-based the Factory Contemporary Arts Centre on September 21 at 7.30pm

The Vietnamese-German coproduction “Stigmergy” with 14 dancers from the Việt Nam Dance Academy explores acting, contacting and communicating. All this combines to a complex structure, which arises without the need for planning, control or direct communication between the dancers. The piece is choreographed by Dieter Heitkamp and his Vietnamese assistant Lê Hải Minh. 

From Canada, overseas Vietnamese artist Kim Sanh Châu will perform with her two colleagues Maud Llorente and Erin Hill. Entitled “Black & Scholes”, the dance is about the appearance and disappearance of the individual. The dancers have performed the dance two times in Canada. 

The Swiss Asphalt Piloten will perform their witty artistic rebellion “Tape Riot” with and against surrouding urban space. The four artists will pop up on some street corners in Hà Nội and HCM City.

The piece is built on the reality of urban space and the daily flow of those who inhabit it. The dance will be performed by dancers Laura Keil and Ichi Go.

Dancers Raquel Madrid and Cipriano Lopez are the first Spanish representatives at the dance festival. They developed their “Short Story of a Long Event” on a Mediterranean beach and will bring it now to the shore of Hà Nội’s Hoàn Kiếm Lake on September 24 at 5pm.

“Urban Distortions” is the work of artist Pierra Larauza and choreographer Emmanuelle Vincent. The multicultural show unites Europeans, Africans and Asians.

"Seeking cultural mixing in each country, we have developed a collaboration with a musician or a local dancer," said Vincent. "Therefore each performance is unique."

The original version of "Urban Distortions" was the fruit of collaboration between the two artists and the young Vietnamese composer Nguyễn Đức Trung Tuấn and singer Suboi. 

Go to for the full 2017 schedule of performances. — VNS