Festival to bring EU charm to Vietnam

A laser show at the Hanoi Opera House will open the 2015 Europe Days on the night of May 8.
A laser show at the Hanoi Opera House will open the 2015 Europe Days on the night of May 8.

The event aims to bridge the cultural gap between Vietnam and the EU, and promote exchange.

First held in Vietnam in 2004, Europe Days showcases traditional activities and performances from the union's member countries.

This year the programme will celebrate two holidays. Europe Day on May 9 marks the creation of the Schuman Declaration in 1950 – which laid the foundation for the formation of the EU. It is also the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the EU and Vietnam.

The laser show will use modern projection technology to take the audience on a virtual tour of Europe, through European architecture and European images, as well as symbols of relations between the EU and Vietnam. It will light up the façade of the Opera House from 7.30 to 8.30pm.

Also on the day, the Red Socks brass quintet from Munich will make their Hanoi debut on the Opera House stage. The group of young musicians will present a wide repertoire of tunes, from old masters like Bach and Handel to American composers of the 20th century, jazz and Argentine tango. The quintet will also perform with the traditional Vietnamese instrument ensemble Suc Song Moi (New Vitality), directed by young conductor Dong Quang Vinh.

Following two concerts in Hanoi on May 8 and 9, The Red Socks will also perform on May 10 at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

Also coming from Germany is the award-winning graphic artist Reinhard Kleist, whose work will be displayed at the Goethe Institute from May 10 to 31. The exhibition will present illustrations from six of Kleist's graphic novels, including two illustrations from his unpublished biography on Australian songwriter, screenwriter and singer Nick Cave.

The diversity of European cultural traditions will manifest itself in the four-day European Literature event in Hanoi, from May 7 to 10, organised by the EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC). Alongside a wide range of books, from crime novels to short stories and graphic novels, visitors can enjoy readings, workshops, live drawing events and short film screenings.

Europe Days will also feature the European Food Festival, to be held in the National Library garden on May 9.

With about 30 food booths from famous hotels and restaurants in Hanoi, the event promises visitors a cultural journey through the northern, central and Mediterranean cuisines of Europe, with a selection of dishes that have made Europe world-famous for its culinary diversity. The event will also be filled with music, entertainment and children's activities.

Another highlight of the Europe Days programme is the European Film Festival with13 films, presenting a variety of works by European movie makers. The event will kick off in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City on May 15, 16 and 17, respectively.

On May 21, winners of a writing contest offering a free round-trip ticket to Brussels will be announced at a ceremony. The Delegation of the EU to Vietnam's contest aims to promote mutual understanding and raise the awareness of young Vietnamese about the EU's presence in the country.

To conclude this year's programme, a free film concert will be held on May 27 at 8pm at the Goethe Institute.

Dutch composer and sound designer Ad van Dongen, along with Vietnamese composer and conductor Do Kien Cuong, will restage the German classic silent film Nosferatu – one of the first horror movies. The movie was shortened and condensed, and the music newly composed, creating a new silent film experience with live music.-VNA

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