Bellingen’s dancer Codi Denham is having a dream year.
Following the news earlier this year that she was accepted into the Bangarra Dance Theatre’s youth program, Rekindling, the young star will go to Vietnam with a group of six other Indigenous dancers, three boys and three girls, as part of an Australian-contingent attending the Da Nang International Fireworks Festival.
Codi will spend one week in Vietnam at the end of May, under the watchful eye of her parents Kellie Small and Peter Denham, entertaining crowds and showcasing the best Australia has to offer.
It is a stunning opportunity for the young dancer and one her mum, Kellie said is a credit to her determination and hours of practice.
“Codi is really excited to be offered this chance,” Kellie said.
“We are very proud of her and it’s also great that Codi’s sister, Star, will be able to join her on the float as they parade around the streets of Vietnam.
“This will be the first time our children have travelled overseas – so it will be a truly new experience in many ways.
“I am a bit nervous … as any mother would be, but this is what Codi has worked hard for, so of course we are happy to do all we can.
“The three boys in the group are students at Orara, and Indigenous man, Coffs Harbour resident Kristian Benton is the Didgeridoo player and singer.
“So it is a very special and talented group of people going – an extraordinary opportunity and we are looking forward to it.”
Kellie said she has “many people to thank, but particularly local schools, Chrysalis and St Mary’s, the Bellingen Youth HUB, Rivers Dance Studio and Camp Creative committee (scholarship)”.
The Da Nang International Fireworks Festival (DIFF) is held across 11 weeks from April 29 to June 24. Australia’s entourage perform during the last week of May in what is a major port city in Vietnam, and the third largest city in the country.
The theme for this year’s event is Shining Marble Mountains, named for the marble and limestone hills that can be found south of Da Nang.
The highlight is five fireworks performances of eight teams from UK, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Australia, Japan, China and Vietnam named Fire – Earth – Metal – Water – Wood.
The three best performers will return for the final competition, held on Wood Night on June 24.
Along with the fireworks performances, many attractive auxiliary festivals will be organised in the framework of DIFF 2017 such as Cham culture festival, sculpture festival, “Marble” International Cuisine Festival, beer festival, street festivals, etc.
With many excellent programs and large scale, DIFF 2017 is expected to attract two million visitor arrivals to Da Nang during two months of the festival.
It is one of the biggest firework festivals in Asia, and performances will be broadcasted live on Vietnam Television.
The Director of Danang Department of Culture and Sports, Huynh Van Hung, said “we believe that with our elaborate preparations, DIFF 2017 will be a remarkable event for Danang in 2017 ... this will be a ‘must–go’ festival towards friends across five continents.
The show’s director, Le Quy Duong said, “this is not only just a fireworks festival, but also a spectacular performance of colours and music”.