HNM Dance Centre
Anh Nguyen, Artistic Director, HNM Dance Centre
“Many times that is the case, you know, people respond to the music. Music will usually come first. In artistic dance, that is rarely the case. It is usually the dance, the idea, that comes first and everything comes around it to support it in the end……Let us say the idea is about grief. A piece exploring grief and how people handle grief or resolve it, or how they come through it or live with it. Or love or loss. Any kind of idea. That idea, there it is. There are a few words of it that encompass a lot of things. No music in mind at all and many times the music will not come in until near the end. The movement will be developed, and then we would try with different music and see. Try it with poetry. Try it with sound. With non-musical sounds or noises. Or, in silence. And then something will click as a choreographer, you just know that for right now, I think that is it.” Ahn Nguyen
Anh is the founder and artistic director of HNM Dance Centre. The focus is artistic rather than commercial dance. The dancers are a mix of professional dancers in the city; dancers who are considering dance as their career; and community members who have no intention to become professional dancers but whom love dancing. The collaborate in classes ranging from modern ballet to contact improvisation, and often do invited performances in art galleries or with symphonies.
Anh is an adult educator in dance who views the dance experience as “artwork that is personal and revealing.” HNM Dance Centre focuses on dance for artistic rather than commercial endeavours. He teaches his adult learners by providing them with opportunities to be themselves and bring as much honesty as they can handle. Anh tries to lead a therapeutic session for dancers — a time where not everyone may be totally comfortable, but he believes it is a time when dance and expression will come through greater.
According to Leonard, Hall & Herro (2015), “dance is a way of creating autonomy and representative knowledge because the dance body serves as subject and object, acting and action, writer and writing, speaker and speaking, self and self-expression” (pg. 339). In this regard, Anh teaches not only to learn the physical skills of dance, but to learn ways of further self-expression and personal knowledge that may help learners overcome personal obstacles in their lives. Listen below to Anh relates his pedagogy for teaching dance.
Here is the website for HNM Dance Centre: https://hnmdance.com/home