#Danceforlove 2017: Love someone enough to set them free

(VOVWORLD) - Have you ever found yourself stuck in long lasting prejudices of society that exist in your own family, such as the notions that women must love men, a free-lance job is not a real job, every woman must get married and have children, etc.? Family is the place for love, and in some certain ways, these prejudices also stem from love. But would it be better to love the way our partners want to be loved, and care about their feelings and freedom at the same time? Let’s find out in #DanceForLove, a story-telling and interactive street art event that took place last weekend on Hanoi’s pedestrian streets, with the message of "Love someone enough to set them free”. The event was organized by Wequal Vietnam, an open community of young people who make their voices heard for gender equality.

The 4-staged journey started at the Trang Tien-Hang Bai crossroad with young dancer Xuan Quy as the main character, who appeared to be afraid of the outside world. He kept struggling to step out of his comfort zone to face public prejudices during school, work, and in his personal life. Sometimes he found it hard to identify his gender. Along the way to his freedom were zombies who are filled with negative traits of society like “Men must be strong”, “Girls shouldn’t get tattoos or dye their hair”, “Women over 30 and unmarried are hopeless”, etc. Some of them are part of his real daily life, said Xuan Quy: “I’ve been through this. During high school, I often got mocked by friends about not having enough masculinity. Therefore, I’m performing with my own emotions today and I hope the audience will understand what I mean. Actually, now, I have been supported by a lot of friends, and even my dad is here today to see me perform.”

#Danceforlove 2017: Love someone enough to set them free - ảnh 1 Xuan Quy (main character) surrounded by the zombies

Inititated by The Institute for Studies of Society, Economics and Environment (iSEE), Wequal Vietnam wanted to focus on the value of families in this year’s event. Ms. Minh Ngoc, Head of iSEE, explained: “The “set free” term has many meanings. We’d like each individual to set himself free from his own prejudices, and people arround him should also set him free from limits. We focus on familes this year, as we believe it is the optimal place to tackle the gender inequality issue.”

#Danceforlove 2017: Love someone enough to set them free - ảnh 2Young dancers at the event (Photo: Wequal Vietnam) 

Over 2 hours, the #Danceforlove journey showcased meaningful dances and songs about freedom, equality and love spreading, with the participation of students from primary school to university, professional dancers, and members of the LGBT group. Wequal Vietnam believed that dancing is the most appropriate kind of street art to attract people and raise public awareness on social issues. Pham Trinh Yen Chi from Wequal Vietnam said: “There are many types of dancing, which can reflect different stories and  emotions of people. We believe that music and dancing can help connect people, and help us deliver our message of “love someone enough to set them free.”

#Danceforlove 2017: Love someone enough to set them free - ảnh 3People follow dancers and singers along the pedestrian street (Photo: Wequal Vietnam) 

People were curious about the dances at first, then they kept following the dancers along the pedestrian street, and at the end of the journey at Dong Kinh Nghia Thuc Square, hundreds of people gathered around the stage to listen to the speakers. “I think this event is very well organized, and got attention from quite a lot of people”, Anh Tu from Hanoi said, “The message is meaningful, too, but I think we need further explanations in order to understand it thoroughly.”

Linh Giang from the audience expressed her impression: “I’m impressed to see such a nice event organized by very young people. They have such a modern and fresh approach to social issues like setting your beloveds free from prejudices. This is quite popular in society today, but I don’t think many of us have paid attention to it, and even ignore it. I think more events like this should be encouraged to raise public awareness on social issues.”

#Danceforlove 2017: Love someone enough to set them free - ảnh 4Dancers and audience perform a flashmob together (Photo: Wequal Vietnam) 

At the end of the journey, the main character set the zombies free by untying all the strings of prejudices off their bodies, and some of the audience joined the dancers to perform a flashmob together.