Khmeropédies II 

What is contemporary dance in a country which experienced the almost complete erasure of culture? Can it develop from tradition? What influences could come into play? Khmeropédies II mixes outside influences of rap, Western contemporary dance and ballet to portray a generation of dancers eager to explore and set free from an inflexible heritage. A collaboration with Magnum photographer John Vink, this work was developed during a residency at White Oak Plantation (Howard Gilman Foundation) with additional support from the Asian Cultural Council (New York).
Khmeropédies II premiered at the New Haven International Festival of Arts and Ideas in 2010 with subsequent performances at Baryshnikov Art Centre, Singapore Da:ns festival at Esplanade, Spoleto festival in Charleston, and Podium Mozaiek in Amsterdam.
Choreography: Emmanuele Phuon
Dramaturgy: Lim, How Ngean
Developed with and performed by: Sam Sathya, Chumvan Sodhachivy, Phon Sopheap and Chey Chankethya

The remarkable two-part event is no eclectic hybrid, with arabesques and the like grafted onto Cambodian steps. Utilizing postmodern strategies, Phuon and the dancers enlighten us about the style, while investigating how private emotions and more relaxed contemporary customs might take it in new directions.

©Marina Cox, ©courtesy The Esplanade, ©Anders Jiras