Café Saigon, a contemporary dance featuring HCM City’s lifestyle in the mid-20th century, will return to the city’s Opera House on August 8. Photo courtesy of HBSO
HCM CITY – Café Saigon, a contemporary dance featuring HCM City’s lifestyle in the mid-20th century, will return to the city’s Opera House on August 8.
The dance is a co-production of the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) and Gotra dance company from Maastricht, the Netherlands.
It premiered in June 2018 at the Opera House, and received praise from audiences.
The work is choreographed by Gotra’s artistic director Joost Vrouenraetsand and his colleague Maite Guerin.
The dance is set at a coffee shop in Sài Gòn in the mid-20th century, where young people meet and share their thoughts and feelings about life.
The performance will feature dancers from HBSO such as Trần Hoàng Yến, Đỗ Hoàng Khang Ninh and Sùng A Lùng.
The dance includes songs from the 1960s by American singer and songwriter Joan Baez, and music by Belgian accordion duo Fabian Beghin & Didier Laloy, and ends with What a Wonderful World, one of the most famous songs recorded by American musician Louis Amstrong.
Vrouenraets, who spent a year on working with HBSO to make Cafe Saigon, said: “I really love Việt Nam. Vietnamese always fight for their independence and never give up. This feeling can be experienced at coffee shops in Sài Gòn. People go to these places to find a kind of freedom, and to escape from things that don’t really matter.”
Vrouenraets studied at the Amsterdam School of Arts and the Rudra Bejart School in Lausanne, Switzerland, before joining the Béjart Ballet Lausanne in 2004.
In 2005, he and his dance partner Guerin founded Gotra in which they form the hub, while individual dancers are recruited for each production.
Gotra has been invited to perform at numerous schools, companies and festivals, including the Festival Biarritz in France in 2009 and the Schrittmacher Festival in Germany in 2010.
Vrouenraets’s major original works include The Alchemist (2006), I Have a Dream… (2007), Turo (2008) and 5md (2009).
Last year, Vrouenraets and HBSO introduced their second production, a contemporary dance based on Stravinsky’s orchestral work The Rite of Spring, during the Autumn Melodies Art Festival 2019 in HCM City.
The dance was warmly welcomed by audiences, particularly students and young people.
The performance of Café Saigon will begin at 8pm.
The Opera House is at 7 Lam Sơn Square in District 1. Tickets are available at the venue and ticketbox.vn. — VNS