Singapore Arts Festival 2006 - Drought and Rain



Singapore Arts Festival 2006


~ One Season. Many Faces ~


1 – 25 June 06




Drought and Rain


- Two Memories, Two Generations


Ea Sola


With elderly village women from the North Delta of Vietnam,

Vietnam National Opera Ballet, Hanoi,

composer Nguyen Xuan Son and an ensemble of traditional singers and musicians


(Vietnam / France)


Asian Premiere


Date           : 2 & 3 June 2006

Time           : 8pm

Venue         : Victoria Theatre

Tickets       : $50, $40, $30, $20

Duration    : 80 minutes (without intermission)


The original production of Drought and Rain Vol. 2 was co-produced by, Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Singapore Arts Festival, New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)*, L’Espace - French Cultural Centre (Hanoi), Vietnam National Opera Ballet (Hanoi) and Grand Theatre of Groningen (Holland).


Supported by the French Embassy in Singapore


Post-show dialogue with Ea Sola on 2 June


French-Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola returns to the Singapore Arts Festival after a 5-year hiatus, with a soulful examination of war memory in the Asian premiere of Drought and Rain – Two Memories, Two Generations. Promising “a work totally contemporary, an Asian contemporaniety”, Sola explores the war-scarred memories of the Vietnamese people, collectively and individually, in two dance pieces – Drought and Rain and Drought and Rain Vol.2.


“The performing arts are extremely important because they address (issues) to our world,” said Sola, who had returned to retrace her roots in Vietnam in 1989 after leaving the country 15 years earlier in the midst of the Vietnam War. In this Festival special, Sola presents the reflections on the war as seen through the eyes of two different generations, young and old. “Drought and Rain – Two Memories, Two Generations is a constant effort between the two generations; it demands a (degree of) tolerance to understand the two systems,” said Sola.


Last seen in the Singapore Arts Festival 2001 with her Festival debut and swansongRequiem, Sola ended her brief retirement from the dance world in 2005 with the creation of the Festival co-commission Drought and Rain Vol.2. This piece was choreographed in juxtaposition to her internationally acclaimed 1995 creation and the first of her series of choreographic works, Drought and Rain, which featured elderly village women from the North Delta of Vietnam. In Drought and Rain Vol.2, Sola revisits the memory of war through the eyes of youths in the contemporary world. Through this work, she also seeks to tell the younger generation that peace belongs to them when they take the responsibility for it.


A choreographer with a distinctive choreographic language weaving tradition with modernity, Sola has won critical acclaim for her previous works such as Once upon a time it was (1997), La Rizière des musiques (1998), and Voilà Voilà (1999). Sola shared that she felt “something new with the stage and the bodies of the dancers” with her return to dance creation. “The difference between Drought and Rain – Two Memories, Two Generations and my other works is that it is more gentle and harmonious, yet it also conveys a more direct and brute sense of dissatisfaction,” said Sola.


In this production, 12 elderly rural women from the original troupe featured in the world tour of Drought and Rain from 1995 to 1996 will be restaging this memorable piece. Following that, young dancers of the Vietnam National Opera Ballet – Hanoi will bring their reflections on the memory of war in Drought and Rain Vol.2. Both pieces will be performed to music by an ensemble of traditional Vietnamese singers and musicians. Drought and Rain Vol.2also features original music composed by Vietnamese musician Nguyen Xuan Son, whose inspiration was the percussion used in tuong, a classical form of Vietnamese opera.


Through this union of two works created 10 years apart, Sola hopes that audiences would have a better understanding of youths today, while at the same time, pay more attention to caring for the older generation.


A post-show dialogue with Ea Sola will be held on 2 June.


Please refer to the attached annexes for more information:


  • Programme and Choreographer’s Notes 
  • Profile of Choreographer and Music Composer
  • Production Credits