Education for outreach project for contemporary dance in collaboration with Viet Bac Folk Song-Dance Company, Thai Nguyen province
Submitted by +84 GROUP

1. Aims / Objective / Goals of project
Setting up and developing contemporary dance in the North Eastern area

2. Brief description of project
At the beginning, +84 group was found in order to have a close-up study about contemporary dance. Through time, we realize that if we would like to bring contemporary more closely to the audience, we should bring it first to the dancers. With some useful experiences we had achieved during our working, we would like to share it with other dancers. Then each of the dancers will spread the contemporary dance to more and more audience.

Starting with the Viet Bac Folk Song & Dance Company in Thai Nguyen city, we have worked with the dancers who used to perform the traditional and folk dance only. After the first 4 months, we can see the obvious difference in the way they connect with other dancers in the group and the way they feel about their own movements. Another reason that we chose Thai Nguyen was related to its community and the complex city life. Located in the heart of Northeastern region, Thai Nguyen is 80km away from Hanoi. In the 80’s and
90’s, Thai Nguyen got the bad reputation because there were many people with opium addiction. These people mostly were the gold diggers in that period and they became the hoodlums who have many bloody gang fights.

Nowadays, life in Thai Nguyen is better but the young people still got the bad effect from the previous time; so we would like to bring more artistic activities to the community in order to provide the people a place to know more about arts. We do hope that if the young people has another activities to take part in then the social problems will be reduced. We think that if the young people had a place to express their thoughts and wishes, if their minds were opened with more interesting views then they could think more positively and each one would live more beautifully.

Last but not least, within a population of 250.000 people and the living expenses is not too expensive, Thai Nguyen is such a suitable location for our on-going project.

3. Methodology / Implementation of project
In the first 3 years, we’ve planed to build up contemporary dance workshops in order to share information and techniques with all the dancers of Viet Bac Folk Song & Dance Company. After that, when all the dancers got the basic knowledge and experiences about contemporary dance then we’re planned to bring their arts works to the audience in the community. Tour will be scheduled to perform in the universities, high schools and public areas … both in the city and other neighborhood areas.

4. Time frame of project
This project will last in 5 years. We will spend 3 years for developing the contemporary dance for the professional dancers then the next 2 years will be show-time period to bring contemporary dance to life and let the community has a chance to experience the new things. We’ve started this project since September 2008.

5. Projected output of project (is it a workshop, a discussion, a showing etc.)
As our schedule, each year, the artist group will produce an arts work then set up the tour to perform in other cities of Vietnam. Based on what we’re doing with the Viet Bac Folk Song & Dance Company now, we’ve planned to build up our first play from March to June 2009.

6. Who is your target audience for your project?
We would love to introduce contemporary dance to everybody, from young people to old people, from Vietnamese to foreigners … Contemporary dance should be targeted for the people who live in contemporary period.

7. How do you propose to disseminate information about the project to your target audience?
Via the workshops, our targeted audience will have the real chances to know more about our activities. We also had experiences in setting up the opened discussion in which the audience can talk to the artists about their related questions to contemporary dance. The artists will have the great opportunities to closely connect with their audience; hence, they will have the urge to be more and more creative in their works.

8. How do you think your project will create impact on the art communities/the cultures that you want to engage with? How will it develop the field of your art form?
Actually, our project now just got the impact on the dancers who used to familiar with traditional dance. After 4 months, there have positive change about their views of arts in general and dance in particular. Normally, just the dancers with good appearances can perform in traditional plays, but with contemporary dance, all types of body are welcomed, all kinds of thoughts are shared and for the first time in their lives, the dancers truly know that they can play with dance, be relaxed with dance and be free with dance. Still there are many pending issues that needed to be solved such as the expenses to bring the plays to public audience; but we hope that the project really could bring the interesting and optimistic points of view for all the people.