Conversation with the expatriates: the hearts which remember of itself

23:08:52, 02/02/2007

Interview realized by Ngô Thị Kim Cúc

Pushed by their Vietnameses heart and soul, Dominique and Phuong Oanh examined the Vietnamese life spiritual through artistic activities in and in Europe.

Dominique Hardy, artistic Manager of the Space Exchanges Cultural French Asia, and Phuong Oanh, Professor of the traditional music of Vietnam, Manager of the Association of Vietnamese traditional Culture and Music are realizing a project: redraw the oral stories of the Vietnamese from the city, campaign, plain, and mountain…, to show through these stories the specific lines of the Vietnamese soul in the Asian cultural community and besides of the world. People stemming from the minority Kinh at Huê, at the covered bridge Thanh Toàn, as well as the minority of Tà Ôi at A Luoi, told, sang, revealed facts of their culture, opinions on the soul, the faith, the link between the alive and the death, the taboos in the daily life … This project will supply subjects to Dominique Hardy to build her third work on Vietnam, after "a Whole world" and "On the tracks of Kiêu", works already presented to the French public at the theater of the young people in Strasbourg as well as in the festival of Avignon.

* What ideas brought you to realize this program?

– Dominique Hardy: When I was small, in , my paternel grandmother often told me stories of the ghosts and the spirits which I always remembered: stories which I still keep affectedly. Growing up in a French culture, I knew the soul of the French people. The difference between both cultures urged me to try to understand up to the end of things.

* How the soul, according to you, influences on the life of people?

 – Dominique Hardy: I believe in an immaterial world, there are facts that we do not need to explain. Really, it is necessary to listen to them and to let them show themselves.

– Phương Oanh:  According to me, our people have a tradition of cult of the ancestors then these stories on the soul are profoundly anchored in our subconscious.

* Phuong Oanh you left for more than 30 years, Dominique with your French-Vietnamese origin, how did your Vietnamese spiritual life contribute to your current activities?

– Dominique Hardy: By my Vietnamese blood, I based the group of theater Indigo Archipelago, to be able to work on the projects of exchanges cultural between both countries. I want to create links and participations in the culture between both peoples. In their majority, the French people like understanding the culture of the other countries, also for the French people of foreign origin. It is evident that overtake the language barrier is not an easy thing. What helped a lot me it is to attend the plays which speak about my own mood. I used the music as means of communication towards people. As well as the decoration, the light, the colors which I use on the scene are carefully all selected to reach the objectives that I settled.

– Phương Oanh: If we want to remain Vietnamese, it is necessary to keep our spirit. I left the country for more than 30 years, but my soul always aims towards the homeland. I taught the Vietnamese to my children, and especially that they are conscious that they are "Vietnamese in ", with traditions and Vietnamese customs, not only during the holidays but also in the daily life. 

* To where is progressed your program to Huê?

– Dominique Hardy: We were warmly received and helped everywhere where we go. We were satisfied on what we want to know. Everybody wanted that we quickly progress and in the best conditions. I love Huê, I felt an invisible world as well as a soul there. I am very enthusiastic to have harvested new ideas for my next programs.

– Phương Oanh: The population of Huê altogether is very hospitable and enthusiastic, maybe that Dominique loves Huê because of it. Nothing surprising for myself, because Huê is a part of me, in spite of more than 40 of absence. I believe that Dominique found the good ground for her project. 

 * Do you intend to widen the project towards other regions?

 – Dominique Hardy: I am going to realize a play with all the elements harvested at Huê, and obviously I have never abandoned the idea to return in for the other research projects. We deposited the form of participation to the Festival of Huê on 2008.

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