Dancing to life's changing colors

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An act from upcoming dance "Tich tac" (Tick tock) by contemporary art group Arabesque is introduced at a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Doc Lap

Vietnam's famous contemporary dance group Arabesque is stepping on to the local stage this weekend with the story of a little girl journeying from pink to darker shades of life.

The idea of "Tich tac" (Tick tock) has been nurtured for more than a year by group members Tan Loc, Bao Trung, Ngoc Khai and Thanh Phuong.

They told the The Thao & Van Hoa newspaper that "Tich tac" is an everyday story of a little girl having dreams, turning around harsh corners, falling in love and dreaming again until the colors of her life get darker and she has to travel to her future with a question about how she can materialize her dreams.

The storytelling will use songs by Bach, Mozart and Beethoven and some sculpture installations.

Bao Trung, who works with the Darmstadt Theater in Germany, will be one of the 14 dancers, many of whom have received international training and acclaim.

Thanh Phuong is now a dancer for Swiss dance company Cinevox. Phuong studied choreography in the US and Germany and received top prize at an international dance contest in Seoul in 2012. Ngoc Khai has spent five years dancing across Europe.

Other members, including To Nhu who plays the leading role, have all received awards at various contests. 

Nhu is considered a national dance phenomenon because of her enthusiasm even after crossing 40, when most dancers would have quit, let alone spend most of the time trying new acts as she does.

A boy from a circus troupe of orphans who came second in Vietnam's Got Talent 2013, a local adaptation of the American reality show, has also been given a role in the dance.

The artists say if all the tickets are sold, they would earn enough to pay the theater rent and other expenses, but not their labor.

But they are happy to work and hope they can bring one quality dance a year to attract more people to view their work.

"Tich tac" would be the fourth dance performed by the group since 2009.

"Suong som" (The Mist), another dance of Arabesque, will be performed in the US next year as the group has been selected to tour with the prestigious Center Stage tour, a program initiated by the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

"Tich tac" will be premiere at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, District 1, at 8 p.m. on September 1 and 2.

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