Tran Ly Ly, a noted choreographer

With her special contributions to Vietnam’s ballet and contemporary dance, Tran Ly Ly has become the first female director of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet. Ly is also on Forbes Vietnam’s list of the 50 most influential women in Vietnam. 
Born in a family where her mother was a ballet dancer, Tran Ly Ly very early showed her dancing talents and passion, which was even stronger than her mother’s. Ly started her training as a professional dancer when she was 10 years old.

Ly won two national young dance talent awards in 1992 and 1994 when she was still a lower secondary school student. This achievement was rare for a young dancer.

After eight years of studying dance, Ly came first in the entrance exam at Hanoi Academy of Theater and Cinema, Dancing Faculty. But she did not enroll in the school because she got a dance scholarship from the Queen University of Technology (Australia). 


Tran Ly Ly at a press conference on the 2019 contemporary dance program. Photo: Thanh Giang / VNP

Meritorious Artist Tran Ly Ly is honored by Forbes Vietnam in the field of communications and creativity. Photo: Forbes Vietnam

After seven years studying and working in Australia and then France, Ly came back to Vietnam in 2003 with a desire to develop the art of dancing in her homeland.
“No matter which country you come from, you must speak a common language once you perform on the world’s stage. You cannot speak your language and ask them to understand you.”
Choreographer Tran Ly Ly
Ly’s first theatrical dance “One Day” which made its debut in 2006 immediately made a strong impression on the public. The dance was successful far beyond expectations and became the first mark in Ly’s career as a choreographer. The dance was selected to be performed at European Days in Vietnam in 2006.

Ly’s following theatrical dances, including “Living in the Box” (2008); “Zen” and “7X” (2012); and “Yes Yes No No” (2016), all became popular.

In late 2018, Ly left her post as the Vice Principal of the Vocational Ballet School of Ho Chi Minh City to hold a new post - Director of the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB).  Ly, the first female director in the 60-year history of VNOB, has an ambition to create new challenges to mark its 60th anniversary. Among them are the staging of a number of big performances, including Swan Lake, The Sculptor (an opera) and some mixed opera programs.


Instructing dancers at a rehearsal. Photo: Thanh Giang / VNP

Ly is the first female director in the 60-year history of VNOB. Photo: Thanh Giang / VNP

Sharing experience with young dancers. Photo: Thanh Giang / VNP 

Ly at a rehearsal before an overseas performance trip. Photo: Thanh Giang / VNP  

“Vietnam has many artists and professors. But being an artist at the same time as being a professor like Tran Ly Ly is very rare. Ly sees dance in everything. Even if a knife or a chopping board wants to learn ballet or modern dance, Ly will find it ordinary. In her eyes, everything, from feelings to thinking, is translated into movement. For Ly, everything and everybody are always moving and if they stand still, it merely means a shift to another dance.”

Director Le Hoang
Story: Thao Vy Photos: Thanh Giang & Files

A Huynh - A Master of Stone Musical Instruments

A Huynh - A Master of Stone Musical Instruments

A Huynh never attended any music school, nor was he ever taught by anyone. It was simply the sound of T'rung (a traditional bamboo xylophone used in many ethnic groups), ting ning, k’ni and stone musical instruments like an invisible magic that captivated his heart, igniting the flames of passion and guiding him to become a talented young artist proficient in making and playing most of the ancient musical instruments of the Ja Rai.