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Modern dance at Chenla Theatre

CONTEMPORARY Cambodian dancers join force with artists from Laos, Thailand and France this weekend for performances of new dance works at Chenla Theatre on Friday and Saturday, with a performance at Diamond Island on Sunday.

Under the aegis of the French Cultural Centre (CCF), the Cambodian artists will perform a contemporary dance called Garuda, while the foreign artists will together dance a work called Fang Lao, or Listen to It.

Cambodian choreographer Hun Pen, 28, says she wrote the contemporary dance Garuda featuring a mythical bird who falls in love with a man, who is an intelligent community leader.

But their differences lead to arguments and, says Hun Pen, the story can be interpreted as the difficulties of people who leave their own countries to live abroad and have to adapt to new cultures and identities.

“For example, they were born in one place and grew up there, so they can not adapt themselves absolutely into a new location. They cannot forget their own culture and their identity. Some day their original identities and culture will come out.”

Hun Pen will perform as a dancing garuda, accompanied by traditional musicians.

Entrance is free to the dances at Chenla Theatre, which start at 7pm on Friday and Saturday. Tickets are available from the CCF in advance.

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