Culture Culture

05/02/2020 - 07:53

Depicting life by the language of body

With many high-quality dances close to life, the choreographer Phan Hoang from Hue Traditional Royal Theatre of Art is described as young, talented and whole-hearted.

Phan Hoang receiving his Co Do Literature and Art Award (Former Capital Literature and Art Award)

Passion and wholeheartedness 

With his characters consisting of the man, the animal and the tongue, the dance “Fate of Heaven and Earth” depicts the fight between the good and the evil, and the fight for power in the society.

In the dim limelight, the characters fight with one another for a thread from heaven or are painful by the constraints of the society. 

With the skillful combination of dancing, props and music, and strong movements and expressive faces, “Fate of Heaven and Earth” creates a strong stage effect, bringing the audience to the climax to think about the fate of man. 

Lasting about 9 minutes, “Fate of Heaven and Earth” is not a conventional dance, but rather, poetry dancing. With the original combination of Western modernism and classicism, the dance focuses on the true, the good and the beautiful.

“Right from the beginning of the world until the society coming into being, man had always had to fight between contrasts: the beauty and the ugliness, the good and the bad. In those battles, the good always won in the end. It is the truth,” said Phan Hoang about his work. 

Phan Hoang began to write the script for “Fate of Heaven and Earth” when he was still at the Military Culture and Art University. It marked his involvement in dancing. With his passion and wholeheartedness, he invested in making a test performance despite the financial difficulty of a student. But thanks to that, he had further ideas for the work.

Phan Hoang (front) is working at Hue Traditional Royal Theatre of Art

In order to make “Fate of Heaven and Earth” for the 2016 National Talent Contest for choreographers, Phan Hoang and his team had to work very hard for 3 months. He spent a lot of time training the dancers with techniques and performing.

“This dance is abstract with lots of metaphors. It requires the dancers’ techniques and skills. Mistakes are completely not allowed. It took us up to 10 days just to practice a 45-second-long piece of music. One dancer even had to hospitalized out of exhaustion and high intensity,” said he.

His wholeheartness and hard work brought him sweet fruits. With “Fate of Heaven and Earth”, he was given the title Young Talent in 2016. He was also awarded Prize A by Vietnam Dancer Association and Prize A at the 6th Co Do Literature and Art Award in 2019.

Predestined for the dancing profession

Born in 1986 at Huong Thuy Town, Phan Hoang got involved in dancing from his passion for history, culture and traditional festivals. After his graduation from high school, Phan Hoang learned choreography at Culture and Art College, then spent five years at Culture and Art University in Ho Chi Minh City.

Graduated, Hoang decided to return to Hue though he had many opportunities in Ho Chi Minh City. He joined Hue Traditional Royal Art Theatre.

A dance made by Phan Hoang

“I like our traditional culture, especially customs and habits and want to express my feelings about life through art. Musicians express themselves through their songs, singers through their voices, painters through their paintings and choreographers through bodies,” says Hoang.

Phan Hoang stands out as a brilliant face with many high-quality dances. His themes come from what he feels around him, about issues profound but familiar with life. 

 “Wishes” recalls in the viewers their childhood memories; “Breastmilk” is about the sweetness like that of breastmilk, “Spring Musical Instrument” employs the image of the monochord to depict the nation building of the Vietnamese people. Each dance is a meaningful story from life.

Phan Hoang especially likes the folk style combined with contemporary art. “My work is full of metaphors so it is not easy to make the audience understand. The hardest part of a choreographer is finding ideas for his work,” said Hoang.

He did want to quit his job many times due to its hardship, but his passion made him stay. Moreover, it is the job that he has pursued with all his heart.

Story: TRANG HIEN - Photos provided by Phan Hoang

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