Portrait #3 Ea Sola, art with memories of Vietnam
The French-Vietnamese choreographer and dancer is on tour in France from 29 March to 10 April!
Born in Vietnam during the war, Ea Sola arrived in France in 1978 with her Vietnamese father and French mother. She was involved in music, contemporary dance and theatre as part of the Grotowski group and also worked with the Japanese choreographer Min Tanaka. The one-time artist in residence at the Villa Medici, she also studied Tai Tu music from the Mekong Delta.
In 1990 she decided to return to Vietnam with a very specific idea in mind: to both look into traditional music and dance, and research memories of the war. She undertook a real exploration of her birth country, looking closely at every detail, human and spiritual.
An artist of many talents
Her favourite book, Discourse on voluntary servitude by Etienne de La Boétieis the inspiration for Ea’s compositions and is what makes her works unique.She even integrated this text into her show The White Body at the Hong Kong Arts Festival in 2009 when it was recited in French during the dance.
She is therefore able to create her own path, avoiding both the beaten track and established principles. Ea wants to confront thecontemporary ‘tyrants’ of advertising, fashion and money by placing a non-industrialised body against them. In her choreography, each gesture is refined and portrays a meaning. They are not automatic gestures but are considered, thought-out movements.
Drought and rain was her first composition, in 1995. To add to its originality, Vietnamese women farmers aged 50 – 76 performed on stage. They only knew how to dance their traditional village dances, several centuries old! However, they stopped dancing after the war. Ea thereby adds value to age-old body movements which are both very simple yet also tell the story of a country that is still in recovery.
In 2005, Sola created the second instalment of Drought and rain, with young professional dancers from the Vietnam Opera Ballet of Hanoi at the Municipal Theatre. She makes much of the memories of war, of resistance and its survivors with a minimalist almost ceremonial staging, against a black and white setting.