This book celebrates and documents the resurgence of dance in Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and the infamous Pol Pot regime. It honours the remarkable commitment of the few remaining masters of the art of dance who are reviving and preserving the famous classical dances, as well as the courage and resolution of young artists who are imaginatively pursuing their passion to forge new paths in contemporary dance. n 2003, Cambodian classical dance was awarded world heritage status by UNESCO – this confirmed the importance, and perhaps the burden, of the task of preservation. This volume includes contributions from the royal family, eminent writers and commentators and the dancers themselves.
Monuments and reminders of the Killing Fields abound in the city of Phnom Penh. Nearly 2 million Cambodians, including many artists, perished during the killings or died of starvation and disease during the Khmer Rouge years. Today, the dancers, both young and old, move towards the future while respecting and honouring the past. This volume documents their journey.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Peter Sellars -- Preface -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction/Stephanie Burridge -- 1. Royal Dances of Cambodia — Revival and Preservation/Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi -- 2. ‘I am a Cambodian Classical Dancer’: A Personal Story/Hun Pen -- 3. Dance Education in Cambodia/Chey Chankethya -- 4. Don’t Even Think About Having Me/Toni Shapiro-Phim -- 5. Rodin and the Apsara/Thierry Bayle -- 6. Cambodians Dancing Beyond Borders: Three Contemporary Examples/Pornrat Damrhung -- 7. Transmission of the Invisible: Form and Essence/Peter Chin -- 8. Dancing Off Centre/Sophiline Cheam Shapiro -- 9. Platforms for Change: Cambodia and Contemporary Dance from the Asia-Pacifi c Region/Stephanie Burridge -- 10. Beyond Revival and Preservation: Contemporary Dance in Cambodia/Fred Frumberg -- Artist Interviews and Biographies -- Chhim Naline, Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle), Hang Borin, Hem Linda, Khieu Sovannarith, Koy Sina, Menh Kossony, Mok Sokhom, Pen Sok Huon, Penh Chumnit, Phon Sopheap, Proeung Chhieng, Pumtheara Chenda, Sam Sathya, Sam Savin, Sang Phorsda, Sao Rithy, Sek Sophea, Seng Kalivann, Sin Sakada, Soeur Thavarak, Soth Somaly, Vuth, Yim Savann, Yon Davy, and Vuth -- Glossary -- Bibliography -- Index.
Stephanie Burridge has lectured at LASALLE College of the Arts, and Singapore Management University, and is a dance critic, author and editor of numerous publications.
Fred Frumberg is Director, Amrita Performing Arts, a non-profit organisation based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.