ANTON LACHKY
Artistic Director Anton Lachky Company

I remember meeting UDG in Malaysian dance festival East meets West. It was wonderfull experience to meet those sweet, talented and hard working dancers. I could not be more proud as im to be teaching them and guid them over those 2 weeks. Strong dancers with wonderful leader Huy Tran. Wish you all my best. Warm regards. 

Dance education

Born in 1982 in Slovakia, Anton started to dance at the age of 5, in the folk dance company Maly Vtácnik. He continued his dance education at the J.L.Bellu Conservatory in Banská Bystrica, where he collaborated with friends and also participated in M.A.P.A. (Moving Academy for Performing Arts).From there he went on to train at the University of Bratislava in 2001, followed by further training at P.A.R.T.S., headed by A.Teresa de Keersmeaker (Belgium).

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ALAIN BARBLAN

I follow the performance of UDG from the last 10 years, Dancers are changing, but the spirit remain the same, this energy, this passion, this perfection to dance and not just for them but for the people who watch them. They are sharing this passion with others. Every time I see them I got inspired and my pride is to have capture some of their show with my camera to make sure nobody can forget how fantastic they are.

Alain Barblan is a native of Switzerland, is living in HCMC with his wife and two kids. He has been working as a Chemical Engineer and has received the opportunity to live in many countries in the past 25 years, such as India, Mexico, China, and Vietnam. He considers living abroad as a gift, which allows people to learn a lot from other’s culture and lifestyle. Alain has a passion for photography, capturing the right moment in sport, dance, nature and people.

BAO VUONG
Visual Artist

I participated twice with UDG and John Huy as part of the Krossing Over Art Festival (KOAF). For the last time’s project, all participants had to create a show based on a chosen text from the book name “The invisible cities”. As an visual artist I was interested by some strong images from the text as “blind black man shouting in the crowd”. From this we had idea of dancers with black masks which represent dehumanization, and with white bodies that act as screens to project images of a modern city.

Almost all the original ideas and choice of music were found together with John like almost telepathy, we were connected. I think this kind of collaboration come from a really good sense of listening, sensibility and intelligence from John. Another think was necessary it was the really good team spirit that I felt in UDG, it was as a real big family.

I can’t wait to feel this experience again with them!

Bao Vuong was born in Vietnam after the war in 1978. He was only one year old when his parents had to hastily flee Vietnam. After an arduous journey, passing through painful experiences in refugee camps in Malaysia, his parents finally arrived in France. This journey definitely marked him and his future artistic vision.

In 2012, turns of events made Bao decide to settle in Vietnam. It then sounded logical to go back to reflect by art certain chapters of his life and questions regarding his identity and heritage while fully enjoying the time, space, resources and collaboration that Vietnam had to offer to.

KIM-SAN CHAU

I had the chance to collaborate with UDG dancers for my dance film ORE in 2017. I was highly impressed by their talent, curiosity and generosity. My dance vocabulary is not dance conventional and focuses more on somatic and sensitive body approach. UDG dancers, led by John Huy Tran, were open-minded towards my dance practice and embraced it in a beautiful manner. Together, we created this 20 minute video which has been presented in Vietnam, Canada and France. I hope we will collaborate again the future!

Kim-Sanh Châu is a Vietnamese-French contemporary dance artist, based in Montreal. Trained in dance at Paris 8 / France and UQAM /Canada, she also holds a Master’s degree in finance (ACU /Australia, Aarhus University /Denmark et Harvard University /USA). Her choreographic work has been presented in Montreal at Tangente, MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), Accès Asie and Quartiers Danses festivals; as well as internationally at Europe Meets Asia in Contemporary Dance, Krossing-Over Art Festival /Vietnam, Dancebox, RAW Art Space /Malaysia and SIDance-HOTPOT /Korea. Châu is also a screendance filmmaker. Her work, mostly collaborative, has been screened in Canada, Colombia, Germany, Italy and Vietnam. In 2017, she was awarded Best Direction 2017 by Festival Quartiers Danses for Inner Smoke. Finally, Châu is Artistic and General Co-director at Studio 303 /Canada.

LOUIS WU (VU MANH TUAN)
Photographer/ Leica M Brand Ambassador in Vietnam.

My first impression when meeting UDG is their positive energy. They are always rehearsing with passion, discipline and highest attention.But there is always a spot for their sense of humor and upbeat tune and cooperation, which has left the biggest impression in me.

I had an honor to record their premiers and catch the wonderful moments of them. I heard the applause, saw the flowers as well as the audience’s tears. It is very touching! I think those are the biggest prizes you can have, also the ruler for your success that was built on hard work.

VIET MAX

I know almost every UDG artist and have worked with them. I can say that UDG is a friendly environment for dancers to train and develop their skills in a variety of dance styles. UDG artists are young people with passion and devotion to their chosen career. They are talented, professional and they are the generation that will change and set the base for Vietnam’s future dance scene. 

Viet Max was introduced to dance in 1992 with the signature moves from Michael Jackson, Vanilla Ice, Mc Hammer. In 1994, Viet Max joined Big Toe, one of the first Hip-Hop dance groups in Vietnam. In 2006, Viet Max moved to Saigon, created Big South and Hip-Hop Peace United community. Viet Max is one of the Bboys from the first generation in Vietnam who are still active in the current time.

Viet Max has set the foundations for the development of Vietnam Hip-Hop scene by organizing first dance battles in Vietnam, as well as a number of battleground, party, cypher, workshop and more. He was also a judge for many inbound and international dance competitions such as Battle of the Year, R16, Dance Delight, G-Wave, Ring Masterz, Urban Jam, VUG, So You Think You Can Dance. He has been training and contributing to Vietnam Hip-Hop culture since.

« Follow your dreams to the very end. Things will start smiling, somehow, somewhere. When people walk with a fearless heart and an open, dliligent mind, the road is wide and exciting.»

VANDANA HART
Creator and host of We Speak Dance

The creative direction, inspiration and love at UDG is overwhelming! Some of my favorite dancers on the planet, endless soul.

Vandana Hart is the creator and host of We Speak Dance, on Netflix worldwide, a documentary series using dance as an international language to connect people across cultures. She was a judge on Kenya’s So you Think You Can Dance and is now a UN global Ambassador. Vandana has presented at forums and events such as SXSW, TEDx and the UN and trained at the world-renowned Alvin Ailey School of dance, studied Global Affairs at NYU and holds a Masters from London School of Economics.

YEN-CHING LIN
Dancer/ Performing Artist based in London

It is my pleasure to meet and work with Huy Tran and his company UDG during the workshop in Malaysia. Huy Tran is an excellent team leader, he has an intuitive understanding and love for the art form, and he tackles artistic challenges with an open and enquiring mind. He is supportive of his team, works collaboratively and sensitively and shows a strong sense of commitment. His most important quality is he always keeps himself updated, every new information that becomes available in things he already knew about it. 

UDG team is full of talented and inspiring dancers. It’s amazing and informative to work with such kind of personality and his talented team UDG.

Born in Taiwan, Yen-Ching Lin studied at the Taipei National University of the Arts and the London Contemporary Dance School where she completed the Postgraduate Diploma program (Edge05- Postgraduate Dance Company) and then obtained MA in Contemporary Dance.

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Leila Djalalvandi
Tap Teacher/Choreorapher

Originally from the UK, Leila has danced from the age of 4, training in Tap, Jazz and Ballet. As a N.A.T.D qualified Tap teacher, Leila is training students at Dancenter Vietnam in both Tap and Jazz. Since moving to Vietnam in 2015, Leila has loved sharing her knowledge of Tap with the Vietnamese audience and hopes to continue the inspiration. Through projects with UDG, Tap is starting to get the exposure it deserves!
 
Working with UDG:
Leila and UDG have collaborated on a number of pieces over the past 4 years. Leila is always passionate about sharing the art of Tap Dance here in Vietnam; working with UDG is always a fun and inspiring experience, their energy and enthusiasm to learn Tap makes the choreography truly come to life! Artists including My Tam and Phuong Vy, who are fans of Tap have incorporated this iconic style into their live performances and music videos. These pieces have been performed on So You Think You Can Dance VN and Chao Show 2019.
 
Instagram: @leiladjalalvandi 
Youtube: Leila Djalalvandi
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Tôn Thất An
Composer

Tôn Thất An is a Parisian born Vietnamese composer now based in Taipei. He has composed for contemporary dance, theatre, film as as art exhibition. He significantly collaborated with Japanese choreographer Jo Kanamori: NINA – materialize sacrifice (2005), PLAY 2 PLAY (2007), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (2010), Dream of the Swan (2017) and with Taiwanese dance wunderkind Huang Yi: Symphony Project (2010), Double Yellow Line (2012) and Special Order (2014). 
His work as composer also brought him to the Philharmonie Hall in Berlin where he premiereThe Legend of Thánh Gióng (2013), a symphonic tale commissioned by The Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
Also a singer-songwriter, he has made three studio albums: Circlesong (2005), Hyperbody (2010) and We were (t)here (2017).
In 2015, he launched [FEEL] in/out, an indie art project in Saigon with local Vietnamese artists and dancers from Arabesque and UDG, for which an old building or a school are turned into art space, encompassing performing arts, film, photography, music, dance, fine arts for an immersive experience.
He has recently composed for a handful of indie Vietnamese films: Người vợ ba (The Third Wife) directed by Ash Mayfair, then a totally new score for the B&W/silent version of the same film, entitled Between Shadow and SoulSong Lang directed by Leon Le, and Ròm, directed by Trần Thanh Huy.
 
 
”The one time I worked with UDG was when I was preparing the first edition of an indie art festival named [FEEL] in/out in 2015. The opening was to be an 18 minute video dance piece with a giant two-screen video installation. 
The idea was to bring together dancers from the contemporary and the hip hop field, with contemporary music and the áo dài design by Chuong Dang. When I approached Huy for that project, his immediate reply was a resolute yes! I got introduced to the dancers a couple of days afterward and was taken by their vibrant energy, their kindness and of course their talent and versatility as dancers. Christmas wasn’t far, so everybody’s schedule was extremely tight, however, they found time for my project. We had one evening of shooting for the video installation. Huy prepared the studio, the film crew and the make up artist and gave direction to the dancers. It was mayhem, it was fun. Nobody knew what was going to happen. 
I spent the next days editing two films. We had a couple of rehearsals with the dancers and the big day came. What I really appreciated with UDG was their open-mindedness. Even though many of them are fine hip hop dancers, they also kill it when it comes to modern or contemporary dance. That’s the spirit of UDG. There is no plan for us to collaborate together again, but I will be glad when we do!”
 
 

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Compagnie VIRGULE
Directed byVergile Dagneaux

Ever since Montpellier, Virgile Dagneaux started with tap-dancing, spent a brief period in classical and contemporary dance, before devoting himself to Hip-Hop dances. He collaborates with Leela Petronnio, Hamid El Kabouss and Kader Attou, with whom he
has been touring the world, USA, China, Europe, Africa, Middle East …
Nourished by his diverse experiences, in search of a rhythmic and intuitive choreographic language, he founded the company Virgule in January 2015. The opportunity to transform himself into a story runner, in search of a physical and choreographic theater, to the way of his influences such as Kader Attou and James Thiérré.
More recently, he attends Kader Attou and Mourad Merzouki on the creation “Danser Casa”.
He is also part of the transmission team of the National Choreographic Center of La Rochelle, where he intervenes for internships and masterclasses with various audiences (in France and abroad, school, professional dancers, prison establishments)
 
 
 
“I had the pleasure of collaborating with UDG when I came to Vietnam with the Accrorap Company during the Crossing Over Festival 2019. These young artists are amazing,  generous dancers and hard-working people. On a Sunday night just before they performed, we had an opportunity to propose and create a choreography in 8 hours to open for the first part of the show “The Roots” of Kader Attou, at the Opera House Saigon. 
After about 7 seconds of reflection and considering the offer,  they agreed, everyone was incredibly surprised by the result, especially me. UDG took the challenge with flying colors, and they proved they could work fast and well, I am amazed by this short but very intense experience with them.
I want to warmly thank John Huy and Linh Rateau for all they do for UDG Artists.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to be supported, and I hope I have another opportunity to work with them. Thank you all!”

Alex Vachev
Choreographer, Professional dancer

Alex started training in Ballet, Ballroom and Latin at the age of twelve in his hometown – Sofia, Bulgaria. He was a member of the Bulgarian National Dancesport Team and with his partner Tsveta Tsocheva was appointed to represent the country at the World Dancesport Championships. Alex retired from competitive dancing in 2009, having participated in more than 180 competitions. He was 46 times prize winner, 5 times finalist in the Bulgarian National Championships, 26 times finalist and winner at the Bulgaria Cup Tournaments as well as leader in the National Ranking List.

 

Since 2009 Alex has been focused on teaching, performing as well as, working as a choreographer for TV and stage projects in Europe, USA and Vietnam.
His first appearance on TV was in the Bulgarian version of “Dancing with the Stars” and making it to the top marked the beginning of his professional career. Since then, he has been working as a performer, choreographer, producer or assistant director on numerous projects on stage and TV including Dancing with The Stars, Super Model, Just the Two of Us, Star Academy, The Voice and So You Think You Can Dance.
In 2016 and 2017, as an assistant director and choreographer, he worked with Sabra Johnson on the dance production Between Us which is currently being made into a featured film.
 
I have known and worked with John Huy Tran and UDG since 2011. Being invited to choreograph, teach and dance with this team of remarkable artists has been not only a great honor, but also an infinite source of inspiration. The amount of raw talent and artistic capacity everyone in UDG possesses is colossal, but what makes UDG truly one of a kind is the freedom of each of its artists to create and express oneself, unchallenged by limits or any boundaries. The respect and appreciation for everyone’s individuality, the depth of their commitment and the quality of dance, turn their performances into an astonishing, yet very human and relevant to the audience, experience.

 

Out of everything I have experienced in the world of dance for the past 20 years, working on and becoming part of Between Us in 2016 with UDG shines through as the highlight of my career. Drawing together unconditional devotion, hard work and everything UDG embodies, resulted in the production being an incredible success which led to and was matched only by  Between Us 2017.