Monday, February 22, 2010

Taking the stage

As part of a two week national performing arts festival that is taking place in Phnom Penh, though you wouldn't know it through the complete lack of coverage in the western media, the Khmer Arts Ensemble will be making a rare public performance of one of their key classical dances, Seasons of Migration, this Thursday (25 February) at Chaktomuk Theater. The start time is 2.30pm and its free to the public. In fact, there are three shows each day at Chaktomuk, with performers coming from around the country to showcase their traditional performance art. But as I said, you wouldn't know it. I went to the theater last week to find out more and no-one could give me a programme of events or tell me who and when they were performing. The Khmer Arts Ensemble are a professional touring dance and music troupe based in Takhmau and they develop and perform the original choreography of Sophiline Cheam Shapiro as well as rare works from the classical repertoire. Find out more here. On the same day, Thursday, a new exhibition of paintings, Depth of Hope, by one of my favourite Khmer artists, Chhim Sothy will open at the Reyum Gallery in the city.
Update: I've just got hold of a translated copy of the festival programme. It shows 3 performances each day being played out at Chaktomuk at 8am, 10am and 2.30pm. The performances are mainly from provincial performance groups performing Yike, Lakhon Bassac and Lakhon Niyey as well as the Seasons of Migration on Thursday, on Friday at 2.30pm the Cambodian Living Arts will present wedding music and on Saturday, Sovanna Phum will also perform.

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