eif: Moving accounts of human legacy of war in Vietnam

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tHE creation of Vietnamese-French director, choreographer and performance artist Ea Sola, Drought and Rain (re-creation 2011), showing at the King’s Theatre this week as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, explores the effects of the Vietnam war on the country’s people.

Together with a group of elderly women from the north of Vietnam, whose singing had consoled soldiers on the front line, and an ensemble of virtuoso traditional musicians, this moving and beautiful work was first seen in 1995, hence the re-creation subtitle.

“Ea Sola is a great Vietnamese choreographer, working with a group of women now well into their 70s,” says EIF director Jonathan Mills. “All of these women were musicians working in the rice fields during the Vietnam war. They sung patriotic songs of encouragement to their husbands, their brothers and fathers.

“Not only did they urge them to win this battle against external forces, they are hugely important because they are urging their own people to not forget about their own humanity,” he continues.

“Of course, it is women, not men, who pick up the pieces, who try to rebuild the broken society after an horrific war and there is something very special in the minimalist quality of Ea Sola’s Drought and Rain.”

Drought and Rain (re-creation 2011), King’s Theatre, Leven Street, until Saturday, 8pm, £12-£30, 0131-529 6000