Cambodian contemporary dancers will present tonight the result of the first collaboration between classically trained dancers and a Taiwanese university.
The six dancers will perform seven pieces they developed during their workshop with Cynthia Lee, a Los Angeles-based choreographer of Taiwanese heritage who will also perform a solo.
Supported by the Chin-Lin Foundation for Culture and Arts
in Taiwan, her visit is the result
of a long acquaintance between Fred Frumberg, director of the
NGO Amrita Performing Arts in Phnom Penh, and Yunyu Wang, a professor at Taipei National University of the Arts, Mr. Frumberg explained.
Amrita has been inviting foreign choreographers of diverse traditions to work with Cambodian dancers to help them come up with a very Cambodian contemporary dance form, Mr. Frumberg said.
This first project with the Taiwanese university should lead to Taiwanese choreographers giving workshops in Phnom Penh a few times a year, he said.
Before the start of the workshop two weeks ago, the Cambodian dancers were not sure what to expect from Ms. Lee, who is known to mix postmodern dance with India’s classical dance kathak, said dancer Chumvan Sodhachivy, known as Belle.
As it turned out, Ms. Lee, who extensively researched dance forms originally intended for religious ceremonies in Angkorian times, had dancers look into the meaning and feelings they experience when performing their classical movements and then take those movements further, she said.
The result will be works borne out of classical movements as well as dances celebrating Cambodian mothers that dancers created to mark International Women’s Day held yesterday, Ms. Sodhachivy said. Performers will include male classical dancer Khon Chansethya, who, along with Ms. Sodhachivy, recently danced to an Igor Stravinsky work in Madrid.
The performance, ending with a question-and-answer period, is at 6 p.m. at the theater of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Performing Arts behind Spark Club off Mao Tse Tung Boulevard. Admission is free.