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Troupe stages contemporary dance about urban life

Update: March, 14/2019 - 09:00
Young dancers of the Bước Nhảy (Steps of Dance) Troupe perform in pop idol Hương Tràm’s live concert. They will stage in the show “Bước Nhảy’s Night” featuring contemporary dance in HCM City. — Photo courtesy of the organiser
Viet Nam News

Thu Anh

HCM CITY — Young dancers of the Bước Nhảy (Steps of Dance) Troupe will perform in the show “Bước Nhảy’s Night” featuring contemporary dance on April 7 in HCM City.

The show, which celebrates the troupe’s 15 years of working, includes dances choreographed by young talents such as Huỳnh Mến, Boo Lê and Quang Đăng.

The 90-minute event about youth, love and urban life will feature 34 dancers, including Hồ Quang Vinh and Mai Kiều who have won top prizes and performed in national dance contests and festivals.

The troupe’s leader Bảo Thịnh invited pop stars Đàm Vĩnh Hưng and Đông Nhi, pop idols Noo Phước Thịnh, Bảo Anh and Yến Trang to sing during the event. 

Thịnh will also perform with his dancers. The 35-year-old artist, who began dancing in 1991, said he decided to establish his own troupe “to contribute to the development of contemporary Vietnamese dance.”

Thịnh was formerly a member of HTH Dance Troupe, one of HCM City’s leading private dance troupes, before working solo. “In my first days of business, I attracted only eight dancers to my troupe. I now have nearly 50 dancers working full or part-time.” 

“I love training and working with young dancers, who love discovering themselves through dance,” said Thịnh in an interview with local media. “I believe they will reach new heights and develop professionally with their ambition and energy.” 

Thịnh’s dancers have performed in many shows and TV programmes, including Thử Thách Cùng Bước Nhảy (Facing to Dance), a Vietnamese version of the American show So You Think You Can Dance. 

They have also performed in many concerts staged by divas and pop stars, and some of them have been invited to work as lecturers for dance schools and troupes. 

“We hope to share our love for dance to young audiences,” said Thịnh, who has created dances that combine traditional and modern styles.

Bước Nhảy’s Night can be seen at 8:00pm on April 7 at the Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium on 2 Hồ Xuân Hương Street in District 3.

Dance performances

Dance has the potential to tell stories about the country’s history, culture, religion and lifestyle in different periods. Whether on TV, music videos or live in concert, singers are increasingly turning to groups of dancers to liven up performances.

TV producers have launched game shows seeking new talents in dance, such as ThThách Cùng Bước Nhảy and Bước Nhảy Hoàn Vũ, both Vietnamese versions of popular American shows So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars

Although HCM City now has 20 private dance troupes, their numbers often cannot meet demand. They often dance at theatres and big concerts.

Popular groups are the breakdancing and hip-hop Hoàng Thông Troupe, the pop rock ABC Troupe and the folk-dancing Kim Quy Troupe.

Ngôi Sao Nhỏ Troupe attracts child artists aged under 15. 

Many concert and event organisers have had to turn to amateurs, usually people aged 16 to 23, from dance clubs, cultural clubs or aerobics classes. 

According to choreographer and former director of the HCM City School of Dance, Trần Ly Ly, Việt Nam has a variety of traditional dances but they will disappear if they are not well-preserved.

“We need to develop the country’s dance profession, and address the challenges that dancers face," she said.

Ly and the industry’s elite alike are concerned about dancers accompanying singers.

"Dances not suited to songs are becoming a popular phenomenon," she said. ”Many dancers only need a few hours of practice for a show. They wear costumes that are not aesthetically appealing, even see-through dresses.”

Lâm Vinh Hải, winner of Thử Thách Cùng Bước Nhảy in 2012, said: “To satisfy audiences, dancers accompanying singers usually imitate or base their performances on what is trendy in other countries. The problem might rest with the choreographers.”

According to Ly, most concert choreographers are former dancers and have no training. They have turned to choreographing dance groups, which now have no professional choreographer. "And that hurts the performances.”

“Without professional choreographic training, these dancers often lack style and synchronisation,” she said. — VNS

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