“La Rue Danse” To Transform Phnom Penh Park on Sunday Night

On Alain Arnaudet’s computer desktop there is a folder dedicated to the French Cultural Center’s outdoor dance extravaganza on Sunday night, “La Rue Danse.” That folder contains a layout for the eight outdoor stages and projection screens, a multiple-page spreadsheet organizing the performances of the 22 dancers participating on Sunday, notes about music, lists of equipment and many other related documents.

“As you can see, it is a lot,” said Mr Arnaudet, the cultural center’s director. “In French we would say it is ‘casse-tete’ or ‘breaking your head’ trying to organize this,” Mr Arnaudet quipped in an interview.

“La Rue Danse” will feature outdoor dance performances including traditional, contemporary, circus and hip hop at the park in front of Wat Botum on Sunday starting at 7 pm. There will also be a large projection screen showing photos from previous CCF performances.

“There is something going on here,” Mr Arnaudet said. “Traditional dance is very important part of the Cambodian heritage but there is a lot that is occurring now.”

Although the main attraction of the outdoor event will be the dancing, including performances by well-known dancers such as the Tiny Toones performers, Chumvan “Belle” Sodhachivy and Chey Chantheya, Mr Arnaudet said that he is transforming the park area into a more atmospheric and comfortable space for Sunday evening.

Sam Neang, the center’s technical manager, is overseeing a team of eight to transform the park for the occasion.

Set up of the stages and screen will start on Saturday, and a run through will be held on Saturday night to iron out last minute details, especially with the dancers transitioning to their next stage areas.

Although there is no elevated stage, each performance area has lights, its own audio system, sitting areas with mats, Mr Neang said. There will also be other decorative lights along pathways and the existing lights in the park will be covered with orbs of red cloth to enhance the atmosphere.

Mr Neang said he has arranged large outdoor shows for the FCC in the past, which makes Sunday’s event a little easier.

Mr Arnaudet said the CCF has presented outdoor performances before but this will be the biggest one so far.

“The first time is always a bit scary,” he said, adding that he has also considered potential problems for the event.

“The audience, we always worry if we will have enough audience and of course, technical problems,” he said. “We have generators but they can also have technical problems.”

“The look and the design of the outdoors area is very important,” Mr Arnaudet said of the setting for Sunday night. “I want it to attract attention and for people to think, ‘This wasn’t like this yesterday.’ Having eight stages isn’t enough.”


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