Cambodia’s first contemporary dance company: ‘we were blacklisted for not being Cambodian enough’

April is hot in Cambodia, with temperatures regularly hitting the mid-30s. And in the tourist town of Siem Reap, performers at New Cambodia Artists (NCA), the country’s first contemporary dance company, lay down in their studio as they wait for the midday heat to pass.

The power cut doesn’t help. Several industrial fans stand silent and suffering in the oppressive heat. But soon the lights come on, the fans start to whir and rehearsals begin again. The four female dancers glide across the wooden floor, hands and feet disrupting the blazing light pouring through open double doors.

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