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Folk dance wins French choreographer's heart

French choreographer Philippe Cohen has shown his happiness while talking about his work at the Ho Chi Minh City College of Dance in particular and in Vietnam in general.

Philippe Cohen said he came to Vietnam for the first time in 1994 as a dance teacher.

"I was then greatly impressed by the beautiful country and its specific folk dances. You know I had a feeling of being in love then, that made me come back here for 32 times so far to teach, and to direct ballet plays," he told the Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Saigon) Daily.

The French choreographer has helped the Vietnam Opera and Ballet Theatre successfully perform world famous ballet plays such as 'Romeo and Juliet'.

At the Ho Chi Minh City College of Dance, where he has been working for three years under a training co-operation project between Vietnam and France, Mr Cohen said he wanted to both improve the students' skills on classic dances and to equip them with basic knowledge of modern arts. The new technique, he said, is necessary for ballet dancers in addition to their classic dancing skills. However, the French director said, cultures are different and people of different cultures have different ways to take in arts, so he said he did not want to impose his feelings on his students, and, instead, was trying to encourage their own passions and creativeness through modern life topics.

To help improve the Vietnamese dancers' skills, Mr Cohen said he and his colleagues, who are now working at the Ho Chi Minh City college, would select the best students for further training at the Lyon College of Dance in France under exchange programmes. (VNA)

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper.


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