At ceremonies, festivals and major social occasion of the K’Ho, folk dances seem allow the K’ho to express their gratitude to the god and genies for blessing them with bumper crops and a peaceful life.
During traditional K’ho festivals folk dance performances accompanied by exciting and drum rhythms inspire the festival goers.
K’ho girls in colorful costumes perform flexible and charming dance movements while the dances performed by the K’ho men show off their strength and vitality.
Festival goers, young and old, men and women alike are all fascinated by dance performances because they are often invited to participate. Making a circle, hand in hands, they dance around a bamboo pole standing next to a fire.
The dances bring people closer. The more people join the dance, the larger the circle.
Playing music outside the circle, musicians and gong players are pulled along by the dancers’ excitement.
Luu Dan Doanh, a researcher of central highlands’ folk culture, says K’ho dances reflect community unity.
“Dances of the Central Highlands and the K’ho in particular are always accompanied by gong music and reflect the local life. Dance gestures imitate work and nature. Through the imagination of generations, these dances have become a popular art,” he said.
The K’ho organize many festivals each year, man of them associated with rice farming.
Dances in the festivals are the rituals that the K’ho organize to express their gratitude to the God and genie for blessing them with favorable weather, bumper crop, and peaceful life, and to pray for a prosperous year to come.
The dances also reflect the K’ho’ aspiration for the best in life and bring them closer together.
K’ban of the K’ho group said, “We sing and dance during the festival to become closer to each other or to invite guests to our house. After hard working days, we gather for dancing and singing”.
The K’ho has set up a number of dancing clubs to preserve their folk dances and promote their cultural tradition.
K’Lien of the K’ho participated in a performance at the Cultural Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Group, said, “I’m very happy because the dance reminds me of our traditional culture. I’m happy to participate in the dance troupe because dancing is one of the ways we preserve our culture and promote it to visitors”.
Attending a dance performance of the K’ho at the Cultural Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Group or in a K’ho village in Lam Dong province while having rice wine and enjoying exciting gong beats will be a nice experience for anyone who want to explore the Central Highlands’ culture.