The dance theatre piece “Kim” is based on the novel “Wo auch immer ihr seid” by the award-winning Berlin journalist Khuê Pham, in which she deals with the effects of the Vietnam War (or the “American War”, as it is called in Vietnam) and the resulting dispersion of her family to several continents. Kim stands for the German name the protagonist gives herself in order to escape the constant questions about the pronunciation of her Vietnamese name and her origins. The book describes the feeling of being lost between cultures, the speechlessness about the past and the relativity of concepts such as good and evil.
Against the background of the book’s story, the German-Taiwanese choreographer Fang Yun Lo, together with Khuê Pham and five dancers, all of whom have intercultural experience, explores the protracted search for identity of young people from immigrant families. In an impressive mixture of dance, literature and film, they ask questions that affect everyone: What made me the person I am today? Who are my parents – and how do historical catastrophes affect the lives of entire generations?
The dancers take on the characters in the book, but at the same time tell their own stories and those of their families. The result is a moving panorama – of the time before the war in Vietnam in the 1950s and 1960s, to the connections with the GDR and current experiences in Ukraine, where families of Vietnamese origin have to flee again.
Duration: ca. 1 h 30 min
Languages: German, English and Vietnamese
Audience discussion afterwards on 29.09.
Download our educational handout here!
Under the Polymer DMT label, the Taiwanese director and choreographer Fang Yun Lo has been working with artists from various disciplines since 2011. Polymer DMT is based in Essen and Dresden/Germany as well as in Taichung/Taiwan. Since 2018, Fang Yun Lo and Polymer DMT have been working on a series of stage productions that deal with identities, home and migration. “Home Away From Home”, the second piece in the cycle, was shown online in February 2021 and live at HELLERAU in October 2022.
Creation, Dance: Kati Masami Menze, David Le Thai, Lan Mi Le, Ta Vu Kha Chanh, Nam Tran Xuan, Khuê Phạm
Text: Khuê Phạm
Director, choreography: Fang Yun Lo
Video, film direction, stage camera: Andrés Hilarión Madariaga
Stage design: Cheng-Ting Chen
Costume design: Cristina Lelli
Music: David Le Thai
Musical contribution: Patrik Zosso
Dramaturgy: Betty Yi-Chun Chen
Lighting design, technical direction: Max Rux
Production management: Sabina Stücker
Company direction: TW Ya-Ting Tsai
Video-Set-Sound recording: Alicia Luz Rodríguez
Translation: Dr. Lydia J. White, Vũ Phương Thảo, Nguyen Xuan Hang, Charles Hawley, Daryl Lindsey
Supertitle: Jakob Gerber/Panthea
Special thanks to: Andrés Aguilo, Christoph Bovermann, Familie Flöz, Willem van den Hoek, Dominik Antoni Krolikowski, Ngô Thanh Phương, Nguyen Thi Minh Thu, Phạm Phương, Phạm Thoại, Wolfram Sander, Vu Thi Van Anh, Momo Wolter, Annette Ziller
“Kim” is a co-production of Polymer DMT / Fang Yun Lo with HELLERAU Dresden and PACT Zollverein Essen.
Supported by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia (top-level support for dance), City of Essen/Cultural Office, Kunststiftung NRW, Kulturstiftung des Freistaates Sachsen KdFS, as well as Fonds Darstellende Künste with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media within the framework of NEUSTART KULTUR.