I had a blast at this year’s Đêm Việt Nam (DVN)! Pictured above was my favorite performance from the night – the opening act done by The Detroit Lion Dance Association. I didn’t expect to see an actual traditional lion dance; it was my first time watching one as well!
It was fascinating in multiple ways. Exclaimed gasps were heard throughout the venue when the two lions suddenly appeared in the aisles. Their dance incorporated humor and storytelling, and the lions themselves showed so much emotion through their movements and eyes alone. One highlight for me was when the lions pretended to drink alcohol and afterward stumbled onto the ground in a deep slumber; then the sound of the drums awakened them and they gathered their surroundings to the rhythmic beat of the instruments. The crowd favorite was the moments when the lions would rise to face either the audience or each other. I’m truly impressed by the stamina and hard work that must’ve been put into this performance.
Despite being a non-dance-based organization, I enjoyed the performances the members of VSA prepared. They incorporated a lot of character and I could tell the students had a lot of fun on stage. I realized at DVN how important lighting is and how it can increase the quality of a viewer’s experience. Darker lighting heightened anticipation in the room; brighter lighting gave playful energy; and pure silhouettes on a colorful background emphasized the movements of the dancers. I think these special effects helped show off the energy the performers wanted to showcase. In my opinion, it also relieved the pressure of giving an immaculate and in-sync performance. The Power Center is an amazing venue and I hope to watch more performances there.
Guy/Girl traditional – this was another one of my favorite performances; the chemistry between the dancers was very charming and I loved all the romantic nuances hidden within their dance moves alongside the use of the hats
Fans – an example of how the background shift can change the atmosphere of a performance. The dark red was very alluring and the dark green let the shape and colors of the fans standout
Traditional Melody – one of the ending acts that incorporates multiple traditional dances and outfits
The event was an appropriate length: not too long that it was tiring or too short that it felt disappointing. I liked the intermittent mini-skits that helped create smooth transitions between different performances too. I even found myself smiling at the heartwarming atmosphere between the club members.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s DVN and hope you guys consider attending in the future too!