Go Deeper

Dance: Ea Sola and the Vietnam Opera Ballet of Hanoi

Posted September 3rd, 2007

The Philadelphia Live Arts Festival will proudly present the world renowned Company Ea Sola performing Drought and Rain Vol. 2 at Temple’s Tomlinson Theater this Thursday, September 6th, through Sunday, September 9th. Choreographer Ea Sola grew up in the South of Vietnam during the war. After living and studying modern dance in Paris for fifteen years, she returned to Vietnam in 1989. She has devoted much of her career to exploring the history and culture of Vietnam through dance; her work that focuses on the Vietnam War has recieved tremendous critical acclaim throughout Europe and Asia.

<%image(20070903-Drought & Rain_4blog2.jpg|255|200|null)%>Drought and Rain (originally created in 1995)
From my research on music and dance, I wanted to create a work which questions the history of my first country – Vietnam. It was a contemporary work which engages the body, the memory and the reflection on the collective and the individual. The performers of Drought and Rain, aged from 70 to 85 years old, are women peasants from the delta of North Vietnam. They are non-professional dancers. They were the virgin young dancers who knew only one dance, their village dance, an ancient tradition. The convention was that only young girls performed the traditional dance, but these young girls – today old ladies, guardian of tradition – had to abandon their dance because of the war. In a world tour from 1995 to 1996, these women have been able to dance again in a contemporary dance work on the memory of war.

Drought and Rain Vol. 2 (originally created in 2005)
In 2005, with the dancers of the Vietnam National Opera Ballet of Hanoi, I re-visited the theme of the memory of war to interrogate and understand what a young person thinks and feels about a war that he or she does not know but sees through the overloaded images on the television screen? How does a virtual memory trigger an act of conscience and give birth to an attitude of non-violence? The dancers of Drought and Rain Vol. 2 are between 20 to 30 years of age from the Vietnam Opera Ballet of Hanoi who usually work on classical dance repertoire. They worked for the first time with me, engaging in an individual reflection on the memory – the war memory, in the space of our world today.

Ea Sola, Choreographer

To read a recent review of Drought and Rain Vol. 2, click here.