Trained Artists

Second phase of KDP of filming of Artists trained under the old masters

(Year 2, 2009)

Phase 2 of the Khmer Dance Program focuses on the second generation of artists who trained under the old masters filmed in Phase 1. This group of dancers also suffered tremendously during the Khmer Rouge regime. Almost 90% of this generation’s artists died because of bad treatment, illness, and dedication to their art. Some dancers were asked to dance for their Khmer Rouge guards before being killed. Some survived and settled in Western countries, mainly in the US and in France. While some prominent artists living abroad may be included in this project, priority will be given to artists living in Cambodia. Our team has gained solid experience organizing interviews and a better understanding of the context in which the later artists are evolving.

During this phase (January and July-August 2009) 6 to 8 weeks of interviews including two sessions of filming are planned. The following artists have been selected:

• Dancers: Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, Proeung Chhieng, Minh Kossony, Pen Sok Chea, Pen Sok Khuon, Pum Somaly, Ruos Yarann, Sophiline Shapiro, Bunchanrath, Soth, Thaong
Kim An.
• Administrators: Chheng Phon, Pich Tum Kravel
• Singers: Duong Marey, Hun Sarath
• Musicians: Proeurng Pruon and two or three musicians
• Craftsmen: Men Sinoeurn
• Embroiderers: Sim Muntha, Lim Sylvain

We would also like to interview several prominent figures:

• Princess Norodom Buppha Devi
• Prince Norodom Sirivudh
• Princess Norodom Vacheara,
all three of whom had mothers who were star dancers

We will also interview:

• His Excellency Son Soubert, whose grandmother was a star dancer

Session 1: January 2009

Session 1 began in January 2009, with a series of interviews at Angkor Wat of the second generation of artists:

• Proeung Chhieng
• Soth Somaly
• Pen Sok Chhea
• Hun Sarath
• Duong Marey

This first round of interviews centered on the biography of each artist. During this session, we also filmed:

• the art of sewing costumes for male and female roles.

At the Arts Dance School in Siem Reap we interviewed:

• Kim Boran – a current teacher at the school and formerly the Founder and Director of the Wat Bo Dance School. In the 70s Kim Boran was a member of the Royal Ballet.
In addition teachers were interviewed at the School of Dance and Music at Chouk Sar (near Banteay Srey) which is funded by the Nginn Karet Foundation and is under the patronage of Princess Buppha Devi. The school is named:

• Le Conservatoire SAR Samdech Reach Botrei Norodom

Buppha Devi and it is the first school to bear the name of the Princess.

The teachers interviewed were:

• So Chanthou
• Keo Sa Roeum

At both schools we were able to film a number of folk dances as well as Royal Khmer dance. Folk dances are also included in our filming project, for they are a part of the national Khmer heritage. This first session of Phase 2 resulted in a total of almost 40 hours of footage and interviews.

We ended by giving interviews about the KDP to the Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily newspapers. Articles on the KDP should be released in the next two or three months.

Session 2: July-August 2009

Session 2 will start on July-August 2009, mostly in Phnom Penh and its surroundings. We will interview prominent artists such as:

• Proeung Chhieng
• Soth Somaly

who are both dancers and choreographers; we will also continue our interviews with others mentioned above. We shall take the opportunity to interview one star dancer from the period of Queen Kossomak Nearyrath

• Voeun Savay

who lives in France and who will be in Cambodia this summer.

We will also film:

• Chheng Phon
• Pich Tum Kravel

two retired administrators who actively contributed to rebuilding the School of Dance at RUFA and the Royal Cambodia Ballet dance troupe after the Khmer Rouge regime. Through Chheng Phon we will have access to his niece

• Sophiline Chem Shapiro

Contacts have already been made to meet journalists for more interviews about the KDP (Cambodge Soir, Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia Daily).