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Photos : Publication with kindly permission of Do Thi Hong Hanh
Graphics and WebDesign: Konstanze Winkler
What did you do before dancing Tribal Fusion, did you study other styles, and do you have a day job, or are you a professional dancer?

Before tribal fusion I danced Hiphop dance and belly dance oriental. I have two jobs, my day job is Key Account Manager in a Netherland-Viet Nam Company and after the office hours I run for belly dance classes, shows, organize belly dance competitions, charity events etc. I’m busy with both jobs, I’ve just finished my Master Business course from Leipzig University in Germany (2 years studied in Viet Nam and international conference in Leipzig).

The technique of tribal is detail, small, sharp and strong, some times smooth like a snake and some times powerful like a soldier. Tribal style makes girls strong and believe we can run the world (laughs).

When we saw you in Duisburg, Germany at Leyla's contest you showed us a very unique and unheard of choreography. Please enlighten us about it. Is there for instance Vietnamese folklore in it or what other elements.

My dance in competition is a bit a introduction of Viet Nam Tribal and my personal style.

About the outlook, the image of my head decoration is made of two mini conical hats (Viet Nam Traditional Hat). When I designed the two mini hats, they became a small sparkling head decoration. With them I wanted to introduce the Asian girl image in tribal dance. 

About the dance technique and choreo I’ve made: my first choreo for this competition was to another song, with slow movements, which is the favourite style in Europe, and in the end one week before the competition I changed my whole dance (music, choreo, costume, content, technique), came back to my personal style, I moved back to my favourite music style, some part slow, some part strong and fast. And the idea with the two mini Viet Nam hats on my hair made me create the choreo quickly.
You are very famous in your home country, the press calls you "Hong Hanh was the 1st Bellydancer who brought Viet Nam Bellydance culture to world stage". How did this happen and how is the Tribal situation in Vietnam anyway. Do you have any big festivals with international stars?

I’m the first Viet Nam belly dancer dance to in an International Competition since 2009, and the first Viet Nam belly dancer, who won the champion of tribal fusion and silver in oriental on an Asian stage, and now I am “Bellydancer of the World” in Germany, also. I’m also the first person to host an international Bellydance Competition in Viet Nam (“Unlimited Bellydance Competition”, since 2012), which warmly welcomes all contestants from over the world and Asia to come. We organize annually in July. This year it will be on 16th of July, 2016.

I also learned very much from the competition about technique, the style, etc.

I had the chance to watch many dance styles from many cultures, so colourful and interesting. Thank you, Leyla for your big effort and passion to make such a great event possible.

I received some invitations to come to Germany in Nov 2016 because of my winner prize, so I will come back to Germany in 2016 with my newest choreo and a beautiful story. And if possible Ii will bring my students with me.
What are your plans for the future?

I want to improve the level of the “Unlimited Bellydance Competition” in Viet Nam and make it bigger, stronger, and more diverse; also I would like to found an unique Tribal show with international stars. Besides belly dance I will start my own business in restaurant service (being the owner is such a wonderful life - I love belly dance and I love becoming a business woman).

All the best, 
Do Thi Hong Hanh
Viet Nam 

Do Thi Hang Hanh on facebook:
How did Tribal find you and what made you stick to it?

I love tribal because of the strong music and mysterious themes. Tribal style can make a fusion dance with many cultures, mix with many creative contents to tell a story to the audience. Tribal style is a crazy style, makes the audience impressed, some times gives a shock, and at other times urges them to a big wow.

When you work on a new choreography, what comes first: a piece of music, a certain move or some piece of jewelry. And if you found that how do you proceed?

Two things come first, content and music, then the other run after.

I also am the only teacher up to now to train a team to join international competitions and my team also won prizes in both oriental and tribal in Asia (Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, a.m.m).

 Tribal is strong in the North of Viet Nam, in Hanoi (the capital of Vietnam) we have tribal teams and attract tribal dancers from other provinces to come to Hanoi for the competition (“Unlimited Bellydance Competition” - annually) and to dance together.

 In SE-Asia as a whole tribal is not as popular as in Europe, but in each country they have their own style, some of them fall to ATS, some fall to slow movements, and some are going for crazy fast style (me and my team tend going for fast movements).

Where and when did you meet Leyla Jouvana and did you want to come to Germany before or did Leyla plant this idea into your mind?

I’ve just met her at the festival, but I know her from facebook for a time, lucky for me I could combine both jobs successfully on my trip to Germany: I finished the alumni in Leipzig University and won the competition in Duisburg in a few days time. I finished the job in Leipzig on November 26th, run by train 6 hours from Leipzig to Duisburg, and was there in time to join the Star class in Duisburg at 12:30, on 27th November.

How did you like it over here and will you come back?

I loved to meet a lot of belly dance stars that came from all over the world to the Festival, it was so fantastic, and I did learn a lot from the many workshops.

Hanh and her students
Do Thi Hong Hanh's winner performance in Duisburg (BDOTW 2015)

Interview with Do Thi Hong Hanh
by Marcel Bieger
Do Thi Hong Hanh is the first Vietnamese tribal dancer we got to see in a show („Oriental Festival Europe 2015”,
Leyla & Roland Jouvana, Duisburg).
She did not only impress us with her alien
outfit but also with her absolutely exotic
dancing style. So it came to nobody’s
surprise that she made first prize
at the world famous competition
“Bellydancer of the World”.
We will meet Hanh (which is her
“first” name) in Germany again,
end of the year. More than
enough reasons for us of
“Hagalla” to want to know all
about this woman, who is as
talented as ambitious.
So check out, what she has to say …