Vietnam Time

4/9/2018 8:21:14 AM

Arts festival brings performance to new spaces

The Krossing Over Arts Festival (KOAF) will feature a series of interdisciplinary and collaborative performances along with a plethora of artist talks, dance workshops, and international film screenings on April 16th-22nd in Ho Chi Minh City.

Somewhere between dance and installation, Kaleidoscope by artist Kim Sanh Chau is a sensorial journey where bodies “unravel subconsciously”. (Photo courtesy of KOAF)

In its second edition, the festival will offer art lovers an exciting week-long programme on the theme “Home, City and Architecture”.

The site-specific works presented at this year’s festival examine the intimate relationship between people and their ever-evolving surroundings.

Inspired by Italo Calvino’s classic novel Invisible Cities, KOAF’s artists view themselves as “travellers” sharing stories of the cities they know or have been to from their own perspectives, using different methods of expression.

Together these performances unveil different facades of HCM City, which invoke a conversation between these travellers and their audience about the degree of disconnection from the very space they occupy, said choreographer and founder of the festival, Sebastien Ly.

“KOAF aims to create a brand new art-viewing experience through the choice of atypical venues such as a café; a concept store; a historical educational building; and an experimental art space, which liberates art from intimidating white walls,” he said.

“This not only makes art more approachable to a larger crowd of participants, but also ignites their sense of discovery urging them to travel to see the art, to meet new people and visit new places.”

The first edition of KOAF in 2017 took place at seven different locations around HCM City and attracted more than 500 guests over three days.

“This year we are presenting eight collaborative performances, seven international film screenings, two art talks and two contemporary dance workshops,” said Sebastien.

“We will also show our effort in making the festival more fully fledged with better equipment and more reading materials for the public.”

“Each of our performances will be shown at least twice at different venues. As a result of this the experience will be altered each time. This concept challenges our artists to find a way to adapt their ideas and movements to spaces that might never have been meant for performance.”

“Also, participants of KOAF are encouraged to travel from one place to another to get to know the city a little better or to simply see a location that they have been to before in a different light.”

Some of these pieces have previously been shown at international film festivals such as Szerpentin Dance Film Festival (Budapest), Urban Audio Spectrum (Agite Y Sirva Film Festival, Mexico) and There Is a Place (Cine Corps Film Festival, Paris).

KOAF started when Vietnamese-French choreographer Sebastien Ly was on a research trip in Hanoi, HCM City and Hue. During the trip he met and befriended many local artists and creatives.

At the end of the trip Ly decided to organise an event to present the piece he was working on at the time. The event received a lot of positive feedback from the audience, which encouraged him to turn it into an art project in 2017. This time around the event will receive support from the French cultural institute in Vietnam, as a part of its Villa Saigon Artists in Residence Programme./.

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