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Taiwan’s Formosa Circus Arts incorporate stunt work into their act
Taiwan’s Formosa Circus Arts incorporate stunt work into their act. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Circus festival brings acts from all over the world

More than 50 jugglers, acrobats, magicians, dancers and stunt artists from Asia and Europe are set to join Cambodia’s circus performers for a tour around the Kingdom starting this week.

The Tini Tinou Festival will feature troupes from France, Taiwan, Vietnam and Switzerland, and visit Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang, said Huot Dara, chief executive of Phare Performing Social Enterprise.

Dara said the tour – which includes shows, workshops and street parades – was a special chance to experience a variety of circus arts from all over the world.

“It’s the only international circus festival in the region, so it’s quite important for Cambodia,” Dara said.

The Tini Tinou International Circus Festival started in 2004, as a way to help develop and grow Cambodian arts, and it was held annually until 2010 when it was cancelled due to a lack of funds before being started again last year.

The Cambodian performers are drawn from Phnom Penh’s National Circus School of Cambodia and Battambang’s Phare circus, while the international troupes involved this year are O Ultimo Momento from France (a duo who perform with Chinese masts), Les Papillons from Switzerland (who combine classical ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, acrobatics and gymnastics), Formosa Circus Arts from Taiwan (a group incorporating acrobatics, stunt, dance and theatre) and Heritage Social Ho Chi Minh City from Vietnam (who combine circus acts and magic).

National Circus School of Cambodia is based in Phnom Penh.
National Circus School of Cambodia is based in Phnom Penh. PHOTO SUPPLIED

“The aim is to give wider audiences across Cambodia a new theatrical experience and opportunity to see world-class performers,” Dara said.

“The international troupes will bring with them their own unique interpretation of what circus is to share with Cambodians and the other artists alike. Youth from different NGOs are invited free to be inspired by the message and artistry of the international and Cambodian artists.

“I learned a lot from the international performers during last year’s Tini Tinou, such as we exchanged our circus experience and skills. But last year, we had only local circus troupes from Battambang and Phnom Penh, so I think this year’s Tini Tinou will be more exciting than previous years.

“This year, I believe it will give me more new experience as other troupes from different countries also join the festival, and it is a special chance for me and my troupe to show the audience and the international troupes about our circus performance.

“A troupe from Switzer-land will show the audience about modern dancing in the festival and I want to learn it.”

Nov Srey Leak, 24, the protagonist in Phare’s show Eclipse said she was looking forward to learning some new skills from the international performers.

“I want to learn from the troupe from Switzerland who will show the audience about modern dancing,” she said.

The festival will perform in Phnom Penh on May 7-9, Siem Reap on 11-13 and Battambang on 15-16 with a different line-up of acts each night.

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