People’s Artist Le Ngoc Canh – Vietnam’s leading folk dance researcher

(VOVWORLD) - People’s Artist Le Ngoc Canh is known as Vietnam’s first dance professor. Over the past 70 years, Canh has carried out research on the folk dances of different areas of Vietnam and created dances of highly artistic value. For his great contributions in this field Canh has received the Ho Chi Minh Award for Literature and Arts.
People’s Artist Le Ngoc Canh – Vietnam’s leading folk dance researcher - ảnh 1

People’s Artist Le Ngoc Canh is known as Vietnam’s first dance professor


In his 70 years dance career, 85-year-old Le Ngoc Canh has held a number of positions, including Deputy Head of the Institute of Cultural Studies and Vice President of the Vietnam Dancers’ Association. Canh first came to the field of dance more or less by chance. In 1946, he was assigned to the revolutionary dance troupe, and he has been involved with dance ever since. Canh recalls: “In 1947, I moved to Viet Bac revolutionary base and lived with ethnic people for 9 years. I got very interested in the dances of the ethnic groups. Several years later, I produced some dances as a choreographer. My work gradually improved with the help of colleagues”.

Later, Canh pursued dance training inside and outside Vietnam. Canh has choreographed and performed 170 works, many of which have won domestic or international prizes. Mr. Canh again: “In 1972, I took a doctoral degree in dance. Though I was trained in Eastern Europe, I am keen on working with Vietnam’s dances. I’ve done research on and produced Vietnamese folk dances. My passion grew when I got the opportunity to work in different areas of Vietnam”.

Canh has traveled around Vietnam to collect folk dances. The more he has traveled, the more diversity he has found in Vietnam’s dances. Those journeys have provided him endless inspiration and helped him collect rich dance materials. Le Ngoc Canh has authored several books on dances around the world and Vietnamese ritual dances. Three of his books –an overview of dance, dances in Cheo, and folk dances of the Ma ethnic people–were considered for the Ho Chi Minh Award 2017. Professor Hoang Chuong, Director of the Center for Research, Preservation and Promotion of Vietnamese Tradi

tional Culture, has worked with Professor Le Ngoc Canh for many years: “Le Ngoc Canh is Vietnam’s leading dance researcher, producer, and performer. He has produced a great deal of research on Vietnam’s dances and has created folk dances with contemporary themes”.

Professor Canh has always tried to find practical applications for the experience and knowledge he has gained during his research travels. People’s Artist Ung Duy Thinh, Vice President of the Vietnam’s Dancers Association, was once a student of Professor Canh’s: “Le Ngoc Canh is one of the few who have created dance works that reflect the resistance wars against French colonialism and American imperialism. Other of his dances reflect the folk dances of Vietnam’s ethnic people. All of his varied dance styles have involved meticulous choreography”.

Though well past the age of retirement, Canh continues to do research in the hope of preserving the great values of Vietnamese folk dances for younger generations.