On Being Human as Praxis

On Being Human as Praxis

Piece for Vocalist, Dancers and Music Ensemble Duration: 60min Premiered on 16 October 2020 at Realschule, große Sporthalle – Donaueschingen, Germany

Under This Weight

Under This Weight

Piece for 18 Performers

Duration: 20min
Premiered on 18 November 2016 at HKAPA Lyric Theatre - Hong Kong

Choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Music: Martyna Poznańska
Lighting: Alice Kwong
Costume Designer: Stacy Ip Wing-kwan
Set Designer: Stephanie Lee
Performed by: HKAPA Ensemble

Under this weight is part of Dam Van Huynh's series of works in which he explores the many facets of the self: the physical form and the fragile self, stripped of inhibitions. This piece sees a shift in the artist’s choreographic language delving into universally shared themes on the human condition. Under this weight exposes human reactions when under pressure through expressionistic gestures and emotional form, be it a mental or physical pressure: endurance, resistance, surrender. The work displays a continuous shift between equal forces creating an intense and surreal atmosphere.

Commissioned by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Previous dates:
18-19 November 2016 – HKAPA Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong
9-10 February 2017 – The Place Theatre, London, UK
13 June 2017 - The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, UK
25 August 2017 - G.D. Birla Sabhagar, Kolkata, India
8-11 November 2018 - Boston Conservatory Theater, USA
9, 10, 16 November 2018 - Booker T. Washington HSPVA, USA

Under This Weight (Duet)
24 August 2017 - G.D. Birla Sabhagar, Kolkata, India
14 November 2017, Teatro OCampo, Festival Morelos Tierra de Encuentro, Cuernavaca, Mexico
15 November 2017 – Teatro Complejo Cultural BUAP, Festival Morelos Tierra de Encuentro, Puebla, Mexico
19 November 2017 – Centro Cultural Teopanzolco, Festival Morelos Tierra de Encuentro, Cuernavaca, Mexico
27 September 2018 - Shanghai Magnolia Theatre, Dance Stages Festival, China



Piece for 1 vocalist, 1 puppeteer and 1 dancer

Duration: 10min
Premiered on 24 February 2017 at Institute of Contemporary Arts - London
Part of Various Stages Festival
Commissioned by Mahogany Opera

Director/Choreographer – Dam Van Huynh
Composer – Dai Fujikura
Puppeteer – Oliver James Hymans
Vocalist – Elaine Mitchener
Dancer – Tommaso Petrolo

Inspired by Vietnamese water puppetry, Mưa is a ‘movement opera’ turning an age-old practice into a modern form. Múa rối nước, literally ‘making puppets dance on water’, is a tradition dating back as far as the 11th century when it originated in the villages of the Red River Delta area of northern Vietnam.

Setting the space for Mưa is a miniaturised theatre filled with water. The characters appear under different identities as performers, puppets or apparitions.

The people who created water puppetry were farmers: when the rice fields would flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of play. Such tradition is deep rooted in Vietnamese popular culture evoking themes of countryside.

This is the backdrop of Mưa, looking at a world long gone from our 21st-century perspective. As the world changes and evolves, artists and scientists find new ways to understand it. Mưa endeavours to examine life experience through music, movement and a 1,000 year-old tradition originated in the deepest rural areas of Vietnam.

Đẹp (Solo)

Đẹp (Solo)

Piece for 1 Performer

Duration: 10min
Premiered on 6 November 2014 at St Georges’ Bloomsbury - London
First Prize at Zawirowania International Choreography Competition 2014

Choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Music: Martyna Poznańska
Photography: Dominik Kotowski
Performed by Ieva Navickaite

“The living need light and the dead need music” - Vietnamese proverb

Đẹp - Vietnamese word for “beautiful” - questions cultures and their relation with death. Infused with Vietnamese funeral chants, the work explores traditional ideas of rebirth. In Vietnam the family and community help the dead to pass into the other world. Đẹp depicts this emotional journey through stages of grief from initial resistance to final surrender. The purpose is not to bury the deceased, but to send them off on their journey to the immortal world.

Martyna Poznańska - Composer

Previous dates:
8 July 2014 – Premiere, Théâtre Le Quai / CNDC Angers, WDA Global Summit, France
6 November 2014 – St George's Bloomsbury, NEXUS, London
17 November 2014 - Warsawy Theatre, Zawirowania International Choreography Competition, Warsaw, Poland
19 November 2014 - Centre for Contemporary Arts, Ujazdowski Castle, Zawirowania International Choreography Competition, Warsaw, Poland
15-16 April 2015 - National Theatre Veles, Dance Fest Skopje, Macedonia
10-11 June 2015 - Klub Zak, Gdansk Festiwal Tanca, Poland
25 June 2015 - Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej, Zawirowania International Dance Theatre Festival, Warsaw, Poland
21 October - 4 November 2015 - MASDANZA Festival, Spain
27-28 November 2015 - Jerusalem International Dance Week, Jerusalem Theatre, Israel
8-9 October 2016 - AURA International Dance Festival, Kaunas, Lithuania
13 February 2017 - Canterbury Christ Church University, UK

Of Leonardo da Vinci

Of Leonardo da Vinci

Piece for 1 perfomer

Duration: 50min
Premiered on 15th September 2015 at Nasjonal jazzscene
Part of Ultima Contemporary Music Festival - Oslo, Norway

Vocalist: Elaine Mitchener
Music & libretto: David Toop - music & libretto
Film: Barry Lewis
Direction and choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Lighting: Antony Hateley

The idea for a semi-improvised opera was borne during Elaine Mitchener’s artist residency in Venice under the auspices of Fondazione Claudio Buziol and Muziektheater Transparant in 2010.

Of Leonardo da Vinci is the fruit of that residency, a collaboration between improv legend, sound artist and author David Toop, respected vocalist/improviser Elaine Mitchener, acclaimed photographer/film maker Barry Lewis, and making his operatic directorial debut, Dam Van Huynh.

Together they have created a contemporary opera that intricately melds music, sound art, image and movement to explore space, inviting audiences into a unique and intimate realm of disturbing beauty.

Commissioned by Ultima Festival.
Original concept supported by Fondazione Claudio Buziol– Venice, Muziektheater Transparant - Antwerp in collaboration with Teatro Fondamenta Nuove – Venice.

Elaine Mitchener - Vocalist

David Toop - Composer

Barry Lewis - Film

Previous dates:
15 September 2015 - ULTIMA Festival – Oslo, Norway
26 October 2016 - SPILL Festival of Performance – Ipswich
10 November 2017 - Sound Festival – Aberdeen
4 September 2018 - Purcell Room, Southbank Centre – London
30 March 2019 - Korzo Theatre, Rewire Festival, The Hague – The Netherlands
19 October 2019 - Teatro San Giorgio, FORMA Festival – Udine, Italy

The Nude Voice

The Nude Voice

Duration: 20min
Premiered on 21 June 2016 at Wellcome Collection - London

Choreographer Dam Van Huynh and Vocal artist Elaine Mitchener present The Nude Voice – a devised work in which they explore the dynamic and challenges of vocal movement art.

The Nude Voice forms part of current research through which the artists explore the many facets of nudity. The work probes the voice — this most individual and intimate of instruments — using time as a tool to mould and remove the notion of inhibition and choice in vocal production. The spontaneous voice will be experienced in a vulnerable and exposed state of sound, open and ‘naked’.

Deliberate movement serves as a counterpoint, revealing the body in a microscopic light, drawing the viewer’s attention to the smallest detail. Through slow perpetual motion and a seeming stillness, the movement is disrobed from distraction, gradually revealing its inner mechanisms and resonance.

Visitors encounter this ceremonial activity presented over the space of 20mins; a folding and unfolding, a reawakening of space, time and sound.



Piece for 9 perfomers

Duration: 60min
Premiered on Thursday 14 February 2013 at Teatro de la Danza - Centro Cultural del Bosque - Mexico City

Commissioned by CEPRODAC
Artistic Director: Raúl Parrao

Choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Rehearsal Director: Edgar Pol
Music: Jamie Hamilton
Lighting Design: Xóchitl González
Photography: CEPRODAC INBA/México, Dirección Raúl Parrao / La Marmota Azul
Performed by CEPRODAC Dalel Bacre, Juan Madero, Kenya Murillo, Yuridia Ortega, Edith Pérez, Ricardo Rodríguez, Irasema Sánchez, Arturo Serrano, Raúl Tamez

Groovething is a look on cultural heritage, what makes us unique and what unites us. Celebrating freedom of speech and expression for a better understanding of our roots. The ultimate discovery hides in the unravelling of one’s origins. Exploring the past to better understand the present.


Jamie Hamilton - Composer

La Marmota Azul - Photographer

Previous dates:
28 April 2013 – Premiere, Teatro de la Danza, Centro Cultural del Bosque, Mexico City
8 July 2013 – Salamanca e Irapuato, Mexico
10 July 2013 - Guanajuato
17 July 2013 - Centro Cultural Mexiquense Bicentenario, Texoco
19 July 2013 - Teatro Principal, Puebla
27-28 July 2013 - Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
3 November 2013 - Guadalajara, Jalisco
1-11 October 2015 - Teatro Julio Prieto, Mexico City
5, 12 March 2016 - Biblioteca Vasconcelos, Mexico City
22 April 2016 - Centro Cultural Ollin Yoliztli, Sala Silvestre Revueltas
30 July 2016 - Teatro de la Paz, San Luis Potosí



Piece for 3 performers and 1 live musician

Duration: 50min
Premiered at Dance Live Festival on 16th October 2014

Choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Music: Jamie Hamilton
Original text and vocal improvisation: Elaine Mitchener
Dramaturgy: Dan Ayling
Antony Hateley
Performers: Dom Czapski, Elaine Mitchener, Dam Van Huynh
Mentor: Adam Benjamin

Gesundheit! is an intimate gathering of individuals coming from different paths of life. Stepping in and stripping off conventions, the performers invite you to join in the circle for a 360 degree experience of dance, music and spoken word.

A raw, honest and unbridled meeting point, this intense encounter takes the audience into a unique world where three characters explore and unravel their relationship.

Co-produced by Step Out Arts
Supported using public funding by Arts Council England
Co-commissioned by DanceLive Festival with further support from VLC Community Centre, The Place and Rich Mix

Initial R&D phase supported by Dance United and Plymouth University with further support from Déda

Jamie Hamilton - Composer

Elaine Mitchener - Vocalist

Robert Piwko - Photographer

Previous dates:
16 October 2014 - Premiere - Dance Live, Aberdeen
30 January 2015 - Rich Mix, London
18 April 2015 - The Black-E, Liverpool
30 April 2015 - Aberystwyth Arts Centre

7 June 2013 - Rich Mix, London
19 April 2013 - University of Plymouth
5 April 2013 - Déda, Derby

ma ma ma… Mambo!

ma ma ma… Mambo!

Piece for 12 dancers

Duration: 40min
Premiered on Friday 22 June 2012 at Sheung Wan Civic Centre

Commissioned and Produced by Unlock Dancing Plaza
Presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department

Choreography: Dam Van Huynh
Rehearsal Director: Cho Yi
Set and Costume: Wong Kin Wai, Jan
Music: Jamie Hamilton
Lighting: Chan Kwan Chi, Samuel
Sound: Sze Ka Yan
Photography: Elsie Chau

Performed by Unlock Dancing Plaza and HKAPA Dance Ensemble CHIU Wing Tung, Malvina TAM Mei Wah, Tracy WONG Choi Si, Cliff HUEN Tin Yeung, Christy LEUNG Chui Ying, LIM Wei Wei, CHAN Chi Cheng, Hugh CHO Tak Po, Jessica CHEUNG Tin Wing, LI Yong Jing, Kenneth HUI Ka Chung, MAO wei

Sometimes there is nothing left to do except shake your body and boogie!

Unlock Dancing Plaza

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Jamie Hamilton - Composer

[Black Square]

[Black Square]

Piece for 14-21 dancers

Duration: 30min
Premiered on Friday 15 April 2011 at the Lyric Theatre - HKAPA

Commissioned by The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts - HKAPA
Part of the Artist-in-Residence position scheme

Rehearsal Director: Cho Yi
Set and Costume: Bacchus Lee
Music: Jamie Hamilton
Lighting: Cal Ho Fu-lung

Performed by Academy Dance Ensemble Chan Chi-cheng, Vivian Chan Yee-ting, Tracy Chan Yuen-ting, Vonnie Chau Man-yee, Jessica Cheung Tin-wing, Karen Chiu Wing-tung, Cliff Huen Tin-yeung, Rita Kwong Lai-yin, Christy Leung Chui-ying, Li Cheng, Evains Lui Yuen-wai, Mao Wei, Kathy Mui Hoi-ting, Joseph Ngan Kin-fai, Su Ying, Tan Yaguangcun, Wang Ruochen, Wong Choi-si, Janet Wu Wing-yan, Katie Yau Ka-hei, Zhou Yun

Stirring up the space to reveal new dimensions: taking the audience to the core of the experience. The work begins with a solid form until the dancers invade the stage to gradually break and shatter the space.

The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Jamie Hamilton - Composer

Previous dates:
15-16 April 2011 – HKAPA Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong
3-4 June 2011 – Busan Festival, Korea
25-26 February 2012 - Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay, Singapore