Have disabilities, will dance

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A performance of British contemporary dance company Candoco, in which a part of the cast are artists with disabilities. The troupe will perform in HCMC on October 3

A British troupe of eight artists, three of whom have physical disabilities, will perform in Ho Chi Minh City on October 3 after their last Sunday performance in Hanoi.

Candoco, founded in 1991, will showcase the triple bill of contemporary dances, consisting of Studies for C, Set and Reset/Reset, and Imperfect Storm.

The mesmerizing impression of Studies for C comes immediately from the traditional Mexican Ranchera music and costumes bearing the writings "˜I would rather die on my feet than live on my knees,' a famous quote by the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. The duet is a celebration of difference and rebellion with two dancers wearing Lucha Libre masks, which are used in professional wrestling in Mexico. World renowned choreographer Javier Frutos, who directed movements in the HBO series Games of Thrones, tells a story of two characters in limbo who try in vain to get out of the suspended state in which they are tied together and are dependent on each other.

Set and Reset/Reset is based on Trisha Brown's 1983 original piece. It explores fundamental movements and underlying structures that anchor a dance to it. If Studies for C is set in a limited space, Set and Reset/Reset opens up a free space for thought and imagination. Not focusing on any individual, Set and Reset/Reset strives for a harmony of movements.

Imperfect storm combines movement with texts, and meaning with humor. Loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, Imperfect Storm is a unique mix of the free expression in contemporary dance, humor and theatrical tricks.

Candoco's participation in the 2008 Handover Ceremonies at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games, representing Britain, marked the first time artists with disabilities appeared in both events in the history of the games.

Their Vietnam tour is organized by the British Council Vietnam to celebrate 40 years of Vietnam UK diplomatic relations and 20 years of British Council in Vietnam.

The grand performance in Hanoi Opera House, 1 Trang Tien Street, Hoan Kiem District, was opened by a special number involving four children with disabilities from Nghi Luc Song (The Will to Live) Center and artists from Hanoi Youth Theater. The act was choreographed by Candoco. Life Arts, a social enterprise for Creativity and Community Development, has provided the venue for rehearsals.

This opening piece, also termed the Choreographic Residence, is an idea initiated by Candoco as they tour the world and has been included in many other country visits, creating an opportunity to bring change in the perception of, and association with, disability. Just as importantly, participants gain a huge sense of achievement, pride and confidence through taking part in the performance.

In HCMC, apart from next month's show at the city's Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, District 1, the group will conduct a dance workshop for street and migrant children in collaboration with SOUL Academy. SOUL Academy, which focuses on music education, was founded by Thanh Bui, former Australian Idol contestant who made the last eight in 2008.

During their time in Vietnam, Candoco also took part in the contemporary dance festival in Hanoi "Europe meets Asia in Contemporary Dance," in which they will perform In Translation, an intricate piece by Emanuel Gat on September 28.Admission to Candoco's programs is by invitation only.

Performances at both venues begin at 8 p.m.

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