Nov Sreyleak’s daily routine flowed as smoothly as her acrobatic movements. She would study English in the morning, after which she would work part-time at Siem Reap’s Phare Cambodian Circus.
Afternoons were spent rehearsing her routine, before it was time to welcome 400 or so excited guests for Phare’s daily performances. On stage, Nov Sreyleak, speaking from her home province of Battambang, was a lead female performer in the act, performing contortions and acrobatic movements.
That came to grinding halt with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, the Cambodian government prohibited all public gatherings, as the virus tally increased steadily in the country. All kinds of public performances were prohibited and the lull in tourism meant artists and communities struggled to find an audience.