BATIDA… a collision with laughter
This week the Great Danes gave us their royals complete with a crowned head, a crown prince and a crown princess (whom the Australians claim as theirs)… and then they gave us Batida.
Batida is a famous group of Danish performers who clown around, play original music on a variety of instruments, choreograph beautifully and offer a dose of farce and satire. Their Grande Finale at the Cultural Center for Students on the edge of Thien Quang Lake was probably the best piece of clown theater I’ve seen. I laughed until tears were rolling down my face. The energy the group committed to their hour performance was amazing.
Batida: a Portugese word that has, like the Batida group, crossed a lot of linguistic barriers. It can mean a lot of things including a musical beat, a collision, a raid, a blitz, an exploration of a space. And Batida is all of these things and when, to rapturous applause, they tear off their grey wigs and false noses during the actual grande finale you feel as warm and intoxicated with laughter as if you’d enjoyed a delicious fruity alcoholic cocktail (another meaning).
It was the most perfect happy inclusion in the Happy Denmark program that also included that effervescent Street Art Festival and the amazing Convergence of Light. I hope that the Royals come to visit again… though we all appreciate that the Danish commitment to culture in Vietnam is probably the best there is at a grass roots level. It’s a bit like their Danida aid program – sensible, effective and succesful.
An Emergency in Waiting
Not so successful yet is the Emergency Room at the fine arts university. It appears that not many artists have grasped the nettle of just what is today’s or even yesterday’s current events. For a while I was enjoying the baguette traffic installations by Mai Thu Van and hoped that these quirky bits would crop up each day but they stopped after a bloody collision at a crosswalk. The other pieces I’m following are Vu Duc Trung’s pink guns (I hope I’ve got the artist’s name correct).
Wednesday’s immediate response space was sparse and uncontroversial (perhaps Tuesday was a non news days) but the museum area that is filling up with used bits will soon be an exciting installation in its own right.
Relevant or not, this Danish-funded project is an important and valid learning experience for stricture-strapped young Viet artists.
|Not a reviewer, not a critic, “Kiếm Văn Tìm” is an interested, impartial and informed observer and connoisseur of the Hanoi art scene who offers highly opinionated remarks and is part of the long and venerable tradition of anonymous correspondents. Please add your thoughts in the comment field below.|