Monday, April 26, 2010

Shadow host Friday show

The absolutely adorable Chamreun, from the COFCO dance troupe
In case you are in Siem Reap on any Friday evening and enjoy a spot of Cambodian folk and classical dance demonstrated by some talented youngsters, then get along to the Shadow of Angkor guesthouse, along the riverside and around the corner from the Old Market. My friends at the Shadow are giving a platform to the orphans from COFCO to perform each week at 6.30pm, with a BBQ buffet if you fancy it, and donations are gratefully received, going direct to the orphanage for the benefit of the children. I recommend you join in the fun. I saw them in March and the COFCO kids are pretty talented.

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Friday, March 19, 2010

Young ladies

The excellent young dancers from COFCO
Here's a team photo of the 5 young female dancers from COFCO as they were heading home after their excellent dance performance at the Shadow of Angkor II guesthouse in Siem Reap last week. Of course, the girls travelled in 1 tuk-tuk, whilst the boys packed into a separate one - as it should be. COFCO are keen to welcome volunteers to their orphanage and you can get in touch with them through their website. They are especially happy to hear from donors, as with all orphanages, money is tight and they rely on private donations and sponsorship rather than government funding. If you can help COFCO, get in touch with them direct. I know they will appreciate it.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Absolutely adorable

The absolutely adorable Chamreun
Chamreun trains the audience in some of the hand gestures
How often do you hear, "absolutely adorable" when you watch a performance of classical and traditional Cambodian dance by youngsters from a dance school or orphanage. Well, I heard it again on Friday, but this time it was myself saying it. Simply because the youngsters from COFCO, or Cambodian Orphan Family Center Organization, to give them their full name, were so good and looked so cute. Especially Chamreun, who was the cutest of them all. And Samnang, who was the best monkey boy I've seen in a long while. As a group of nine dancers, the girls and boys of COFCO were invited by Kim, the daughter of the owners of the Shadow of Angkor guesthouse in Siem Reap, to perform in the first of a hoped-for monthly series of shows to spotlight their excellent dancing and to give the orphanage some much needed revenue. There was a good crowd at Shadow II, the small cover charge meant everyone could help themselves to copious food on offer and then on came the COFCO children to perform three separate dances, firstly classical and then traditional. And they were very good. I've seen a lot of these performances over the years and in Samnang in particular, COFCO has one of the best monkey dancers I've seen in a long time. He was simply brilliant. And he should be snapped up by Sovanna Phum or CLA immediately. Chamreun was adorable, she had a cheeky smile and was in her element at the end when she was showing some of the audience how to dance and make some of the gestures with their hands. I wanted to adopt her there and then. I didn't, obviously, but you get my drift. COFCO welcomes volunteers and their director Meas Pov, a former singer, is ultra keen that the children get extra lessons in English and Khmer arts like dancing and singing, and if their performance at Shadow is anything to go by, they are learning quickly and learning well. Link: COFCO.
Chamreun leads the dancers offstage after their final dance
A classical wishing dance by the children of COFCO
More tuition from Chamreun
Samnang, the best monkey boy I've seen for a long time
COFCO director Meas Pov helps one of her dancers with her costume