European artists go dancing with locals

A two-night show featuring contemporary dance by European and Vietnamese artists will kick off on Sept. 8 Hanoi's Youth Theatre.

A two-night show featuring contemporary dance by European and Vietnamese artists will kick off on Sept. 8 Hanoi's Youth Theatre.

The show will feature three pieces choreographed by artists from Germany , Belgium and Vietnam : Fire Fly's Season, Benedetto Pacifico, and Death and the Maiden.

The show will open with Fire Fly's Season, a piece produced by emerging dancers from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB).

"Fire flies are both miraculous and familiar, they represent human love which can overcome difficulties and exhaustion to move further into a bright future," said choreographer Cao Duc Toan.

"The idea for Fire Fly's Season came from my childhood emotions. In the evenings, light from the fire flies seems to have a strong vitality. I hope to create an interesting dance which combines European contemporary dance with Vietnamese characteristics," Toan said.

Fire Fly's Season will be performed by a group of young VNOB dancers and accompanied by music from composer Ho Hoai Anh.

The Belgian Company Dame de Pic with choreographer Karine Ponties will premiere its piece Benedetto Pacifico.

Ponties' pieces are performed around the world, but this is her first presentation to Vietnamese audiences. She was invited to participate in this event by the Wallonie-Brussels Delegation, said Franck Pezza, head of the delegation.

"Benedetto Pacifico is a mysterious piece set on the theme of the scarecrow. It focuses on the fears that all people carry within themselves and the mysterious figures they embody that haunt their imaginations," said choreographer Ponties during a press briefing in Hanoi .

The 25-minute piece will be performed by dancer Ricardo Machado with technical direction and lighting by Guillaume Fromentin.

The final piece will be a German-Vietnamese co-production. Over the course of several weeks, German choreographer Hans Henning Paar developed a new piece with dancers from the VNOB. The result, Death and the Maiden, is based on the passionate music of Franz Schubert.

The story of death wooing a young girl – who at first resists, but then gives in to finally be lead away from life – has always inspired artists, said Paar.

Now the story will be staged in Hanoi in the form of a modern dance.

Paar previously worked with the VNOB to choreograph the piece Through the Valley, which was performed in January at the Hanoi Opera House.

Europe Meets Vietnam in Contemporary Dance is a new collaborative project from EUNIC, the network of European cultural institutions, with the VNOB. Organisers had expressed hope that it would become an annual event on Hanoi 's cultural calendar, said Almuth Meyer-Zollitsch, director of Hanoi Goethe Institute.

The shows will begin at 8pm on Sept. 8 and 9, at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngo Thi Nham Street , Hanoi . Free tickets can be picked up at 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc street ./.

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