(A brief summary in Vietnamese available)
KVT at Ozdance
Now why did I get a feeling as soon as the crimson curtains opened and the dancers started to gyrate in front of the huge projected text, that the Remnant Dance Group might have a bit of a faith-based aura lighting up its ethos? Not that it mattered too much as I enjoyed the evening of frolicking by some good and talented dancers (though I’d have preferred a few less larger-than-large smiley faces throughout) all of whom have some pretty good dancing credentials. I really enjoyed that the works promoted the changing roles of women in society and touched on some timely issues.
The young Vietnamese audience thoroughly enjoyed the pretty energetic dancing and the rocky music and there were a lot who gave a standing ovation. As for me, being a wrinkly, I was most taken with the piece called ‘Spring’ that was danced to a delightful contemporary chamber music composition by Australian, Virginia Lakeman.
Some of the music throughout had an inspirational touch to it, especially the songs by Julie Valenzuela and the bit by Evermore had a great inspirational title, ‘Light Surrounding You’. The pulsating music by secular band Yes (Spirit of Survival and Give Love Each Day) had me in the mood for a modern revival session as the dancers did a new and very engaging and timely take on Joseph’s coat of many colors.
Lucinda Coleman, choreographer and founder of the company – which appears to actively and laudably encourage and support women in dance and the arts in general – has done acclaimed work in faith-based areas and is very respected in international groups that wish to promote dance – and the arts – to a more central and respected place within spheres of worship that are generally constructed from masculine perspectives.
Coleman’s published work on worship in dance has been cited in many faith-based and secular journals and, apparently, raised a couple of hackles in more conservative congregations.
Although my responses to the dances were a bit laid back, at times some of the choreographic touches had me sitting up straight and goggle eyed (though the forays across the front of the stage and up the aisle had me a bit perplexed). The dance style had me reminiscing about the early days of the Sydney Dance Company and the beautifully grounded work that is done by Bungarra Dance Company in Australia.
Staging, lighting and technical bits were done well and the use of large screen projection was a great hit. Costuming – from remnant bits and pieces I think – were nicely understated and effective.
It was a good evening for young wanna be dancers to see and be enthused by. Reading the group’s website, it seems that the dancers have all had excellent training and education in important dance schools and that, like a lot of graduates who ‘have it’, they are teaching dance in various dance academies. I understand that one of the most important parts of their mission here, as with most visiting cultural groups, is to conduct workshops with promising young locals. These will be invaluable.
Pictures by Hanoi Grapevine
|Kiem Van Tim is a keen observer of life in general and the Hanoi cultural scene in particular and offers some of these observations to the Grapevine. KVT insists that these observations and opinion pieces are not critical reviews. Please see our Comment Guidelines / Moderation Policy and add your thoughts in the comment field below.|