European Day is joyously observed via Vietnamese contemporary ballet

Ballet is a harmonious fusion of classical European musicality and the exquisite cultural sensibilities of Vietnam, eloquently articulated through the expressive vocabulary of contemporary ballet.


To commemorate Europe Day (May 9), the European Union (EU) Delegation to Vietnam is hosting a unique contemporary ballet set to Vivaldi’s iconic Four Seasons.

The ballet Do (Poohnah) will grace the stage of the Hanoi Opera House on the evening of May 10.

Conceived by choreographers Phan Luong and Vu Ngoc Khai, the ballet harmoniously blends European classical music with evocative imagery and narratives drawn from Vietnamese culture, all expressed through the expressive language of contemporary ballet. The performance encapsulates the European Union’s fundamental values: dynamism, adaptability, innovation, and unity.

The ballet seamlessly interweaves Vietnamese cultural heritage with European music. Photo courtesy of the EU Delegation.

According to EU Ambassador to Vietnam Julien Guerrier, Europe Day marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration for European unity, which established a common European identity, fostering peace, prosperity, and freedom.

“This day presents an opportunity to not only celebrate our collective achievements but also envision a shared European future and inspire partnerships that transcend European borders,” he remarked.

“In this spirit, cultural exchanges such as the Ballet Do transcend aid, trade, and politics, uniting us through the universal language of art. We aim to introduce Vietnamese audiences to the extraordinary music of Europe and showcase the burgeoning artistic talent we have witnessed in Vietnam in recent years. This exceptional ballet is a testament to the flourishing cultural collaboration between the EU and Vietnam,” added Ambassador Julien Guerrier.

The musical score serves as a bridge between the past and present of European classical music, introducing Vietnamese audiences to Vivaldi’s renowned Four Seasons, reimagined by acclaimed composer Max Richter.

The Do Orchestra, comprised of musicians from the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, the Sun Symphony Orchestra, and the Vietnam National Opera and Theatre, will perform the music live, conducted by Dong Quang Vinh.

Composed in 1723, the timeless Four Seasons vividly depicts countryside scenes, evoking a soundscape that captures natural phenomena and human experiences. Through the artistic vision of Phan Luong and Vu Ngoc Khai, the ballet’s choreography and movements embody an emotional response to the music, portraying a spectrum of poignant expressions of life’s symphony.

Winter not only engages with the natural world but also represents an introspective journey in search of meaning and purpose, while autumn reflects moments of serenity beneath a vast sky.

Summer embodies the most vibrant and significant years of life, encompassing both turbulence and tranquility.

The ballet concludes where the seasons begin – in Spring, when renewal and rebirth prevail, leaving behind past burdens, and nature and humanity coexist in harmony.