Amrita Performing Arts presents
An evening of Cambodian contemporary dance

About the Platform

The contemporary dance platform is a new phase for Amrita Performing Arts in nurturing and furthering Cambodian artist's choreographic development. Following on the momentum of years of artistic collaborations with international choreographers and directors, Cambodian choreographers are tapping into their new found skills as well as their classical training in the creation of new works, as they continue to develop their own Cambodian contemporary dance vocabulary. Through this platform, works by Cambodian choreographers will be created, developed and showcased alongside highlights from our ongoing international collaborations. For this very first platform, three works are presented.

Our choreographer Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) is recreating Bach Cello Suite with three female dancers. This piece that was originally developed by Amrita's artists in 2010 in collaboration with Institut Francais du Cambodge. It was later re-choreographed in collaboration with Nam Narim and performed at World Dance Alliance 2012 in Taiwan, Our Roots Right Now in January 2013 in Bangkok, and TARI Festival in July 2013. Belle is re-exploring the dance with three of her fellow dancers.

At the same time Narim is reviving her work, Dream, which she created with Taiwanese dancers at the three-week 2013 Young Choreographer Project she participated in Taiwan in July 2013. Last but not least, our dancer Chy Ratana (Leak) is performing Ferocious Compassion choreographed by Peter Chin, artistic director of Toronto based Tribal Crackling Wind.

The Dance Platform is more than just this performance. As well as the process of creating these pieces, the choreographers and dancers also have the chance to receive artistic feedback from other dance specialists. On Sunday, we are holding an Artist Talk (invitation only) for the wider dance community in Cambodia: Phon Sopheap (Amrita Performing Arts, Cambodia), Arco Renz (Kobalt Works, Belgium) and Peter Chin (Tribal Crackling Wind, Canada) share their experience in contemporary dance choreography. Later in the day the Amrita dancers will have a discussion and feedback session with Indonesian dance expert Dr Sal Murgiyanto, local dance master Proeung Chhieng and choreographers Peter Chin (Tribal Crackling Wind, Canada) and Arco Renz (Kobalt Works, Belgium).


Bach Cello Suite: A work in progress
Choreographer Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle)
Dancers Kao Sithy Nita, Khen Vanthy, Yon Chantha

Produced by Amrita Performing Arts
Executive Director Kang Rithisal
Associate Director Hannah Stevens
Production Coordinator Hourt Bunny
Prod. Assistant Chen Borey
Comms Manager Claire Wilcock
Comms Officer Lim Hout Chhay
Finance Officer Mech Keom Eang
Office Assistant Lim Chanboramy
Production photographer Anders Jiras
Production videographer Chuon Sarin


Bach Cello Suite
Four of us talked and talked and shared our stories. We found common things in our life, living with our families and in this society. The sad things are about pressure from family, lack of caring, humiliation such as "A girl is unable to lift and turn a cooker around" (a Cambodian expression for girls being unnecessary and trivial), and the absence of freedom to do what we want. This makes us stronger: we stand up, have more patience, work hard, and learn more about ourselves. We face challenges in seeking our freedom. We understand our freedom. We are sisters and mothers who give love and care to other people around us. We wish for happiness and harmony.
Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle)


Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle)) (Choreographer) began training in Cambodian classical dance in 1994 focusing mainly on the male role of the all female classical court form but is also proficient in Cambodian folk dance and shadow puppetry. Eager to develop her contemporary creative skills, Belle was accepted into Robert Wilson's Watermill Center 2006 International Summer Arts Program. Since then, Belle has participated in numerous contemporary dance workshops around the world and has been a featured dancer in works by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin, Arco Renz and others which have toured internationally. Belle has choreographed many of her own works and most recently was a featured dancer in Stravinsky's Persephone directed by Peter Sellars at the Teatro Real in Madrid. Belle was a featured dancer in CRACK – a new work of Cambodian contemporary dance by German choreographer Arco Renz that was awarded the 2012 ZKB Patronage Prize in Zurich Switzerland in September 2012.

Kao Sithy Nita (Dancer) finished her classical dance training in the female role from the Secondary School of Fine Arts in 2011 after nine years study. She has performed extensively in classical works and has shown her interest and commitment in contemporary dance. She has worked with Eko Supriyanto, Arco Renz, Cynthia Ling Lee, Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) and Nam Narim.

Khen Vanthy (Dancer) studied her folk dance training in 1991 at the Secondary School of Fine Arts where she finished in 2001. She continued her study Korean National University of Arts in Soeul where she studied different genres of dance and received her BA choreography in 2009. Vanthy was part of the ASEAN project "Realizing Rama" where she performed in Thailand, Japan, Korea and Germany. She has choreographed a number of folk and contemporary dance works. She was commissioned by Cambodian Youth Arts Festival 2012 to create and present her new works My Trail and Rain and is currently a fellow in the Creative Leadership program 2013, both of which are funded by Cambodian Living Arts.

Yon Chantha (Dancer) began her training in classical dance in 1993. Chantha has a strong interest in contemporary dance and has been involved with workshops and performances with Arco Renz, Cynthia Ling Lee, Chumvan Sodhachivy and Nam Narim. She has also performed extensively with the Sovanna Phum Khmer Association, an independent dance and puppetry theater in Phnom Penh, where she was given numerous opportunities to participate in contemporary dance workshops. Chantha is also an artist of the Department of Performing Arts in Phnom Penh.

Amrita Performing Arts is an International NGO based in Phnom Penh, with US non- profit status. Amrita is committed to the creation of Cambodian contemporary dance and theater, responding to the creative drive of a young generation of artists who have taken on the task of ushering Cambodia's ancient performing arts heritage into the future. Our work is developed through workshops based on intensive exchange and dialogue with international collaborators. All of our efforts emphasize capacity building as we assist in nurturing a new generation of Cambodian choreographers, directors and practitioners in all areas of arts management.


We would like to thank the following individual for their contribution to making this platform possible: Arco Renz, Peter Chin, Proeung Chhieng, Sal Murgiyanto, and Anders Jiras. Thanks also goes to the Indonesian Dance Festival (IDF) and The Embassy of Republic of Indonesia for their support.


Amrita Performing Arts is an international NGO with US non-profit status. We depend on private contributions to ensure that we can continue to support and nurture Cambodia's burgeoning performing arts community. Contributions can be made on line through our Google donation system available through our website.

Amrita Performing Arts
PO Box 1140
128G9 Sothearos Boulevard
Phnom Penh 12301

Tel: 023 220 424

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