The ballet titled “Dong Ho”, inspired by the famous Vietnamese folk painting will be performed on the evening of March 22 and 23 at the Hanoi Opera House, according to Vietnam National Opera & Ballet.

The poster of the Ballet “Dong Ho”

The ballet will be directed and staged by overseas Vietnamese choreographer Nguyen Ngoc Anh.

Dong Ho folk painting is considered a cultural icon of Vietnam. Through simple yet sophisticated images, the paintings depict the daily life of Vietnamese farmers and their wishes for a happy and prosperous life.

In the ballet “Dong Ho”, choreographer Anh will create and bless the Dong Ho painting line with a new soul, with each moving line, flexible and soft, elegant and noble in the movement of ballet dancers in the background of the song “The New Four Seasons” by renown musician Max Richter.

Audiences will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a delicate and emotional art space with the perfect combination of Dong Ho folk paintings, ballet, classical music and modern stage lighting.

“Dong Ho” is one of the outstanding ballets choreographed by Ngoc Anh. Through the ballet work, the choreographer wants to express his deep love for Dong Ho folk paintings as well as his great passion for ballet.

He is currently a lecturer in dance at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA), where he teaches contemporary technique, partnering skills, improvisation and repertory.

​Anh graduated with honors from the Vietnamese Dance College and received a full scholarship from the HKAPA.

The Dong Ho Ballet will be performed for the first time ever this March in Hanoi. Photo: VNOB

He has worked with numerous dance companies including the Vietnamese Opera Theatre, Les Ballets Persans (Sweden), Wayne McGregor/Random Dance (UK) and Phoenix Dance Theatre (UK). He was appointed Resident Choreographer of Union Dance Company (UK) in 2007 and became Rehearsal Director of Henry Oguike Dance Company (UK) in 2011.

Dong Ho paintings belong to a school of traditional Vietnamese folk painting, painted and produced in Dong Ho village, Song Ho commune, Thuan Thanh district, Bac Ninh province.

They usually depict daily life, festivals, religious beliefs, and natural scenes. The colors of Dong Ho’s paintings are usually very warm: white of phalaenopsis, yellow of flowers, the green of indigo leaves, red of young mountain gravel, black of charcoal of bamboo leaves, and others.

With diverse motifs, vibrant colors and deep meanings, the paintings are the inspiration for the creation of many unique and impressive products in many fields, such as fashion, painting or music.

Thanks to its cultural values and great significance, Dong Ho folk painting has been recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage.

Although with great inspiration, Dong Ho paintings are usually used as materials for creativity, combined with art forms such as contemporary dance, ballet, classical music, and so on.