An evening of Cambodian Contemporary Dance
November 13-14, 2015
Venue: Department of Performing Arts


The Edge
Choreographer Nam Narim
Performers Master Em Theay, Nam Narim
Composer Chey Vattana
Costume Designer Chhoun Maleang

The piece The Edge is inspired by Narim's grandmother's true story. The piece depicts her grandma's experience during Khmer Rouge's time. Narim is interested in exploring the idea of time and internal expression.

The Real
Choreographer/Performer Soy Chanborey
Sound Arrangement Khon Chansina
Costume Designer Soy Chanborey
Videographer Chou Ravy, Polin Son

Soy Chanborey, the choreographer, is inspired by his father's life and commitment. He is interested in utilizing his father's everyday routine and activities as way to developing his dance movement. He is also seeking for a way to raise awareness of people with disability through this creative work. The piece is the juxtaposition between two life stories, movement, video and sound.

Monkey's Mask II
Choreographer Phon Sopheap
Performers Chey Rithea, Khon Chansina, Khon Chansithyka
Sound Arrangement Phon Sopheap
Video Khon Chansina, Meang Siphanet
Costume Designer Phon Sopheap

Monkey's Mask II is about the relationship between Sopheap, choreographer, and his spiritual dance master. Sopheap would like to explore how both dancer and dance spirituality influence one another and on how the two worlds co-exist. Through an energetic and acrobatic type of movement, the choreographer is interested in unveiling the layers of time, situations, memory and experience.


Master Em Theay (Performer) is an icon of Cambodian classical dance and one of the masters who survived the Khmer Rouge's regime. Born in 1932, she started training as a classical dancer aged 7 at the Royal Palace. At 15, she earned the lead role in dancing and singing of the classical form at the Cambodian Royal palace. In her 80s, she is still active and energetic in teaching and performing. Edge is inspired by Em Theay's life story during the Khmer Rouge.

Chey Chankethya (Artistic Director) started off her career touring nationally and internationally with the Royal Ballet of Cambodia under the direction of HRH Norodom Buppha Devi. In 2008 Kethya began working with Amrita as an artist and was introduced to contemporary dance. Since then she has been a featured dancer of award winning pieces of contemporary dance, as well as becoming one of Cambodia's most prolific choreographers in her own right. Kethya's works have been presented in Singapore lntl Festival of the Arts, Bangkok International Arts Festival in 2014 and Season of Cambodia festival, amongst others. In 2011 - 2014 Kethya received the Fulbright scholarship with support from the Asian Cultural Council to obtain her MFA degree in Dance/Choreography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she also received the OS Mostin Award. In 2014 Kethya became the Artistic Director of Amrita.

Nam Narim (Choreographer) comes from a long family line of esteemed Cambodian classical dancers. Narim began her classical training at the age of nine. She completed the Secondary School of Fine Arts in 2000 and received her BA in Choreographic Arts from the Royal University of Fine Arts in 2004. She graduated from the Korean National University of Arts in 2009 with a Masters degree in Choreography. She is currently a member of the Cambodian National Theatre troupe, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Amrita's artistic leadership. She has performed in a number of new works of contemporary dance with Amrita and was a featured dancer in Stravinsky's Persephone directed by Peter Sellers at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain and at the Festival d'Art Lyrique d'Aix en Provence in 2015. Narim has choreographed works at Amrita Performing Arts' Contemporary Dance Platform in Cambodia, at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore, and in the International Young Choreographers Project in Taiwan.

Phon Sopheap studied Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian male masked dance) and completed his training in 2000 and has since toured internationally as a classical dancer, With a strong interest in contemporary dance, Sopheap joined numerous regional dance workshops including the Young Choreographer's workshop in Surabaya in July 2006 as an Asian Cultura Council recipient where he created his first contemporary solo work entitled A Monkey's Mask. Since, Sopheap has toured internationally in works by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin and Arco Renz among others. He is now part of Amrita's artistic leadership team.

Soy Chanborey (Choreographer) started his training in Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian classical male masked dance) in 2002 at Secondary School of Fine Arts where he graduated in 2011.He is currently pursuing his BA in Choreography at the Faculty of Choreography Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts, intending to graduate this year. He was a performer of Lakhaon Kaol and Sbek Thom (large shadow puppetry) at Sovanna Phum Art Association. He has performed and toured in a work by Princess Norodom Buppha Devi. Borey has participated in numerous dance workshops with Amrita Performing Arts. He has also performed in contemporary works by local choreographers such as Chumvan Sodachivy (Belle) and Nget Rady.

Chey Rithea (Dancer) started training in Lakhaon Khaol (Cambodian male masked dance) in 1999 at the Secondary School of Fine Arts, graduating in 2008. A year later, he pursued his studies at the Faculty of Choreographic Arts, RoyalUniversity of Fine Arts in 2009 and will graduate in August 2012. During the course of his studies, Rithea has performed extensively in both classical and contemporary works. He was also trained in Khmer traditional martial arts and was a featured dancer in Amrita's new works Khmeropedies III: Source/Primate by Emmanuele Phuon and Para Human by Eko Supriyanto.

Khon Chansina (Nan) (Dancer) began his training in Lakhaon Kaol(Cambodian classical male masked dance) in 2002, focusing on the role of the monkey, and completed his training in 2011. Throughout his studies he has performed extensively with the Sovanna Phum Khmer Association. He has participated in dance workshops with Arco Renz, Eko Supriyanto and Cynthia Ling Lee. Nan has performed in Bach Cello Suite by Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) and Nam Narim in Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia, Horizontal Life by Chung Yeun Soo in Phnom Penh and Khmeropedies III: Source/Primate at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Season of Cambodia Festival in April 2013 and at the da:ns Festival in Singapore in October 2013. Nan co-choreographed his first piece Brothers at the May 2014 Dance Platform which toured in Malaysia at the Tari festival in November 2014.

Khon Chan Sithyka (Mo) (Dancer) began his training in Lakhaon Kaol (Cambodian classical male masked dance) in 2002, focusing on the role of the monkey, and completed his training in 2011. Throughout his studies he has performed in Stravinky's Persephone directed by Peter Sellars at the Teatro Real in Madrid in 2012 and at the Festival d'Art Lyrique d'Aix en Provence in 2015, Bach Cello Suite by Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) and Nam Narim in Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia, Horizontal Life by Chun Yeun Soo in Phnom Penh, and Khmeropedles III: Source/Primate at the Guggenheim Museum as part of Season of Cambodia Festival in April 2013 and at the da:ns Festival in Singapore in October 2013. Mo has twice choreographed for the Contemporary Dance Platform. With Brothers in May 2014, which went on to tour in Malaysia at the Tari Festival in November 2014, and with Journey in May 2015.


The Contemporary Dance Platform is a bi-annual program in which we commission three of our artists to create new pieces of Cambodian choreography. Amrita provides financial, production and artistic support through our dedicated project and production team, as well as our artistic leadership team. After six weeks of mentorship, and a series of public talks given by our artists as they engage with a local audience, our artists perform these works to the general public. Following these performances, our artists continue to have workshops with invited dance practitioners from the region to discuss and reflect on their works for their future development.

Amrita previously supported the Contemporary Dance Platform from its reserve funds with additional support for invited dance experts from the Asian Cultural Council.

This platform has been made possible with generous support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

Contemporary Dance Platform is the integral element of Amrita's Artist Development program.


Welcome to Amrita's 5th Contemporary Dance Platform!

It is such an exciting moment for us to be back again. Once again, we will share with our audience 3 works-in-progress of contemporary dance pieces by our senior artists, Narim Nam and Sopheap Phon, together with our very young and energetic choreographer, Soy Chanborey. This time, our choreographers chose to work with topics that are very intimate and close to their life. The three are interested in investigating on someone or something that is important and close to them. For me, this type of work is a kind of reflection, and it is all part of the journey of becoming an independent artist and an independent person.

Amrita's Contemporary Dance Platform provides opportunity for artists to have experience in dance making and exploring their ideas. It is a chance for artists to discover and to develop their creative skills. Through the Platform, our audience also have chance to witness new creative works and engage in various discourse with the artists.

Thanks for allowing us to share with you our created work. I strongly hope you all enjoy the show.

Chey Chankethya (Kethya)

Amrita Performing Arts is an International NGO based in Phnom Penh, with US nonprofit 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 choreog« raphers, directors and practitioners in all areas of arts management.

Executive Director Kang Rithisal
Artistic Director Chey Chankethya
Associate Director Hannah Stevens
Senior Artists Phon Sopheap, Nam Narim and Sodhachivy Chum (Belle)
General Manager Rachel Sené
Communications Manager Alicia Hamet
Project Manager In Rachny
Production Coordinator Hourt Bunny
Finance/Admin Coordinator Mech Koem Eang
Project Officer Ros Sothmmea, Lim Chanboramy
Finance/Admin Coordinator Mech Koem Eang
Technical Coordinator Chen Borey
Asst Stage Manager Dang Chakriya, Mem Siphaneth and Sour Kimseng


The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is Switzerland's International Cooperation Agency within the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs). SDC is responsible for overall development activities and for the humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation.

SDC supports countries in their efforts to overcome poverty—re|ated and development-related problems. In particular, it enables disadvantaged groups to gain better access to education and healthcare, and helps resolve environmental problems. Gender equality and ood governance are important guiding principles for SDC's work. SDC is committet?to strengthening cultural dialogue, social inclusion and peace and to promoting globalization that favors development.

Special thanks to our supporter Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, media partner Sabay.

Many thanks also go to Khmer Arts, Java Café and Gallery, and the Department of Performing Arts.

We would like to thank the following individuals Sophiline and John Shapiro, Anders Jiras, Lim Sipheng, Chih-Yu Lin, Dana Langlois, Preethi Atheya, Jacob David Sudol, Sopha Ratana, and Elizabeth Chey.