Under the Khmer Rouge regime in the late 1970s, Cambodian arts were almost crushed out of existence. The Royal Ballet was famously revived in the 1980s, but Cambodia also had popular traditions of music, dance, drama and puppetry. In 1998, a group started to revive these. They located surviving artists to teach a new generation of children in villages, schools and temples.
In 2011, the group began planning to make the project financially sustainable. They created an outdoor theatre at the National Museum, assembled a regular troupe, and ran courses on technical and artistic skills. The group now stages performances of dance, music, folk opera and puppetry throughout the year. The artists earn enough to survive. The earlier trainees are now becoming teachers.
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