Avant-Vietnam

When it comes to keeping a finger on the pulse of global developments in the performing arts, we've got to hand it to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. The curators have taken some big-time risks over the past few years by bringing in artists unknown to local audiences, among them some of the most innovative to come out of Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. This week they continue the venture with French-Vietnamese choreographer Ea Sola, whose 1995 Drought and Rain Vol. 1 explored the experiences of Vietnam War survivors and helped usher the avant-garde into Vietnam. Drought and Rain Vol. 2, danced by nine performers from the Vietnam National Opera Ballet-Hanoi, investigates the war's fractured legacy as inherited by the next generation. For those of us whose understanding of the Vietnam conflict is markedly American, Drought and Rain Vol. 2 offers a more balanced perspective, in keeping with its name. Such outlook-expanding programming has become a hallmark of YBCA's approach; whether it's a sustainable one, only Bay Area audiences can decide.
Feb. 6-7, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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