“What has so far come out of [the Contemporary Dance Platform] is Cambodian choreography that speaks to the experience of the country’s increasingly connected youth while remaining firmly anchored in the country’s dance tradition” – Michelle Vachon, The Cambodia Daily
NURTURING CAMBODIAN CHOREOGRAPHERS
In 2013 Amrita Performing Arts premiered the first ever contemporary choreographic showcase in Cambodia: The Contemporary Dance Platform. This unique program characterized Amrita’s efforts to strengthen the emergence of contemporary dance in Cambodia and to develop our artists’ choreographic skills.
The Contemporary Dance Platform is a bi-annual program in which we commission three of our artists to create brand new pieces of Cambodian choreography. Amrita provides financial, logistical and artistic support through our dedicated project and production team, as well as our artistic leadership team. After six weeks of mentorship, along with 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 and invited local and regional experts. Following these performances, our artists continue to be mentored through peer critique sessions with the invited experts, where they learn to develop their choreography further.
We are now already seeing the results of our creative investment. Original cutting-edge choreography that was created in the dance platform has begun to be commissioned to be performed and developed at regional events and festivals in Asia. We believe this will only continue; as our artists develop, so will the reputation of Cambodia as a dynamic, progressive cultural hub.
The decentralization of creative authority away from the experts of the past, to the choreographers of the future is something reflected throughout the process of the Contemporary Dance Platform. As Cambodia looks towards a more democratic, responsive and inclusive future in its development goals, so should this be reflected in its performing arts. Our young choreographers are valued and nurtured to have a voice in taking ownership of their creative ideas and the development of their culture
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