Europe and Asia collide in local dance fest

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     Japanese dancer Mikiko Kawamura performs her solo piece entitled Alphard. Photo courtesy of Goethe Institut

The annual Contemporary Dance Festival will be held for the third time in Hanoi late this month, featuring dance pieces from Belgium, France, Great Britain, Israel and Japan.

The "Europe meets Asia in Contemporary Dance" festival is an initiative of EUNIC, the Network of European cultural institutes and embassies in Hanoi, together with the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNBO) and this year's event will be coordinated by the Goethe Institute.

The festival will begin 8 p.m. at the Youth Theatre, 11 Ngo Thi Nham Street from September 26-29. The pre-opening will take place 8 p.m. September 25 at L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street, according to a statement from the organizers.

In the pre-opening, a French-Vietnamese group will present Underground, a dance piece based on the history of the Cu Chi Tunnels, in which choreographers John Bateman and Nguyen Anh Duc offer a tribute to human resilience.

The European performers will include Compagnied'Ici P. from Belgium who will perform the solo piece Sillon, the British Candoco Dance Company with In Translation, accompanied by a piano piece by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The program will also feature a performance by Japanese dancer Mikiko Kawamura, who joins the festival for the first time per an invitation from the Japan Foundation. She will present a delicate yet powerful solo piece called Alphard.

Alphard is the brightest star in the Hydra constellation.

In her solo show, Mikiko Kawamura depicts a man, whose body becomes automated, freeing itself from gravity and becoming increasingly machine-like.

In a witty and lively manner, Alphard combines contemporary dance and pop culture, with echoes from constellations which no longer exist, according to the artist's statement.

Another highlight will be a dance piece choreographed by Nadav Zelner of Israel. In Mushroom Z, three dancers portray urban society, where life is full of temptations, climaxes, ecstasy, routine, downfall, pleasures and hallucinations.

Admission is free. Tickets will be available starting September 19 at 2 p.m. at the Goethe-Institut, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc Street, L'Espace, 24 Trang Tien Street, the Japan Foundation, 27 Quang Trung Street, and the British Council, 20 Thuy Khue Street.

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