Following the successful “Sunshine Prom” at Ba Na Hills, director Pham Hoang Nam continues to regale his avid followers with the “Dance on the Clouds” at an unheard and significant scale, which draws its inspirations from the traditional cultures of the northwest and the meditative realm atop the sacred Fansipan.
“Dance on the Clouds” is due for fruition at the cloud yard of cable car arrival terminal or Bao An Zen Monastery Main Hall at Sun World Fansipan Legend compound (up to weather conditions), from July 13 to October 13, 2019 in three consecutive months, involving two sessions per weekday and Sunday at 9.30 am and 11.30am and three sessions per weekend (Fridays and Saturdays) at 9.30am, 11.30am and 2.30pm. Each show has a duration of 20 minutes and is intermitten on Tuesdays.
Inspired by the long standing characteristics of the Northwestern cultures and the Zen atmosphere of the religious compound atop the Fansipan, “Dance on the Clouds” instills a sense of authenticity on the journey to the Northwest and Sapa, and in particular the Rooftop of Indochina in an esoteric and inscrutable manner.
Mr. Nguyen Xuan Chien, President of the Northwestern branch of Sun Group nd Executive Director of Sun World Fansipan Legend complex delivered his speech in the opening ceremony of the “Dance on the Clouds”
“Dance on the Clouds” is unique, even onstage. The Cloud yard is exactly the finish point of a journey across Muong Hoa Valley and Hoang Lien Cordillera by cable cards to embark on another one reeking of the Zen essences on this enigmatic religious compound atop the Fansipan. From the Cloud yard, in fine days, visitors can even marvel at the ocean of flaky clouds, as if they are blessed to be briefly present in Nirvana. The story is centered on a Northwestern festival dating back 70 years ago, in which visitors may jump the time machine and fly back to old mysterious days and live a normal upland life among the genuine, honest, diligent and self-assured locals. Afterwards, they are thrown back to the present and continue their journey in the meditative realm on nine clouds atop Hoang Lien Cordillera, indulging themselves in the serenity of the Fansipan where the heaven graces the earth”.
In the inaugural part of the “Dance on the Clouds”, the Northwestern vibes are signified with the breezy breaths of winds and leaves. Busy spindles and rhythmically sliding looms flow with gaily dances of local youths at work. The legend of azaleas, quite native to Hoang Lien Cordillera, is portrayed through the heartfelt calls of love and the tryst at the marketplace of young lad Do and his sweetheart Quyen, adorned with folk dances with a contemporary vibe inspired by Dao people. A peculiar Red Dao wedding is re-enacted on its foundational site of the northwest, and such a rare glimpse of the native culture is further enhanced with a dance of Muong Hoa and lots of happy zeal when the natives are endowed with their fairylike and peaceful dwellings deep in the woods.
A cultural essence of the “Red Dao wedding” is lively re-enacted in the “Dance on the Clouds”
Dances that are elaborately choreographed with improvised Buddhist costumes and accompanying meditative music from the flutes, tolling bells, fishing bowls or muttered prayers… not to mention the esoteric smoke effect pervading the entire belfry atop the Fansipan seem to ward off conflictual worldly greed and sorrows of the mortals before they go on to explore the Buddhist religious complex on the peak of the Northwest.
The second part of the Dance on the Clouds – “A common place of religion” – involves unique meditative dances.
For the whole part, Creative Director Pham Hoang Nam and two choreographer, People’s Artist Kieu Le and Meritorious Artist Hong Phong, employed only three props, namely ethnic fabric sheets stretching up to 15m, looms and signature baskets of the natives. However, it is those theatrical props that act as secret weapons to depict the whole background and connect the dots into a coherent plot.
Baskets carrying ethnic fabric sheets are laid out aesthetically by local lads and lassies to fit for the background of a love market. The same fabric sheets are to be woven into the attires of the Red Dao bride and bridegroom. The audience will definitely be stunned with the finale “A lotus plinth in Nirvana”, in which 10 looms employed by upland locals in the first part – “Dance on the Clouds” are laid out into a huge lotus plinth, and characters look just like floating clouds over the natural horizon and weave themselves into the plinth in the gorgeous background to represent mortal homage to the revelation of Buddha.
The music of the “Dance on the Clouds” is undertaken by two composers Nguyen Manh Tien and Dinh Van Duc. To authentically in details the Northwest, world music is deployed as background music for the first part, including familiar tunes of traditional musical instruments such as horn, flute or stone lute… In the second part, religious essences are portrayed with melodious and expressive meditative music in various accompanying tunes, such as blowing winds, flowing cascade, tolling bell and fish bowls in the contemplative nothingness…
Talking about the ideas and desires conveyed in this new show, Creative Director of Sun Group Pham Hoang Nam said: “Dance on the Clouds is to exploiting all the essences of the Northwestern folklore in general and choreographic traditions of the region in particular. The show is a mix and combination between established and renowned choreography and new creations of our team in order to highlight changes and further attract visitors to the Fansipan, not just domestic visitors but also foreign ones”.
Unique and massive both in the choreography, direction and music, the “Dance on the Clouds” will definitely offer spectacular and unheard experiences on the heights of the Northwest. Beside fabulous flower gardens, the rewarding view from Fansipan cable cars and the chilly breezy air on the Rooftop of Indochina, “Dance on the Clouds” is another reason why fans of the highlands may hardly resist a trip to Sun World Fansipan Legend, even as Sapa is already a household name.