Ea Sola returns to stage with The Memory

Exploring the theme of non-violence, Vietnamese-French, choreographer Ea Sola's new dance work is set to dazzle audiences in the capital after premiering in Paris late last year

 Despite being titled The Memory, Sola's new dance marks a breaking away from the choreographer's 10-year examination of memory, tradition and modernity.

Sola, who was born in Vietnam and trained in Paris, said The Memory will be the first in a cycle of dance pieces.

"Requiem was my last work about memory which began in 1992 in Vietnam," said Sola.

"After Requiem, I wanted to leave the stage but the 9/11 event shocked me and I think I can't leave the stage," said Sola.

Choreographer and performer Sola has won critical acclaim for her series of contemporary works, which include Drought and Rains Vol 1, o­nce Upon A Time, Voila Voila and Requiem.

The Memory, also titled Drought and Rain Vol 2, is a reflection o­n the American war as seen through the eyes of the young generation.

It was created in juxtaposition with Drought and Rain Vol 1, which features elderly village women from the Red River Delta of Vietnam and took the dance world by storm when it was premiered in 1995.

This time Sola selected 12 young dancers from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB).

"The dance is a new dialogue between me and the audience," said Sola.

"Through this I also want to send a message to young people that peace belongs to them when hey take responsibility for it."

When asked why the dance was named The Memory while the young dancers don't have memory of the war, the choreographer explained:

"It doesn't mean that young people who didn't experience the war don't have memory of the war. They know about those days through the stories of the old warriors as well as other sources of information."

The Memory's music was written by freelance musician Nguyen Xuan Son, who said the dance's music was inspired by the percussion used in tuong (a classical form of Vietnamese opera).

Sola said that in her new work, she embraces technology and for the first time uses light in her dance to create special effects for the production.

The dance was premiered in Paris in November 2005 and warmly welcomed by the audience. It has been performed in the US, Germany and Singapore before returning to Vietnam next month for the Hue Festival.

The show will take place o­n June 7, 8 and 10 in Hue and o­n June 16 in the Cultural Palace in Hanoi.

The Memory is co-produced by the Singapore Arts Festival, Theatre de la Ville (Paris), New England Foundation for the Arts, L'Espace French Cultural Centre (Hanoi), the VNOB and the Grand Theatre of Groingen (Holland). 

Viet Nam News