Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dance project hip-hops into theatre




Dance project hip-hops into theatre

Dance project hip-hops into theatre


HIP-HOP dancers from Phnom Penh are in rehearsal this week and next with French choreographer Nabil Ouelhadj for two special performances at Chenla Theatre on May 11 and 12.

The young dancers are from Tiny Toones, an NGO that works with vulnerable children to educate them and encourage their artistic blooming through dance and music.

Other youngsters have travelled from their home town of Battambang to take part in the workshops. They have been learning arts, music and dance through the Battambang Development Base, which works which street children in association with the established arts school Phare Ponleu Selpak.

Together they are rehearsing with the French choreographer to adapt a dance show called Crazy Car. Naturally the dance will include a real tuk tuk, as a nod to Cambodian influences.

But Ouelhadj sees the work as a collaborative effort, the reflection of multiple encounters with the local artists while working here.

The dance show is called Carnet de Voyage, or Book Travel. “It presents a multiplicity of spaces and energies, a symbiosis between the architecture of the vehicle and the dancers, whose encounters adopt the rhythm of the traffic,” explains the choreographer.

“They explore the plasticity of this space, a place of possibilities in which their freedom is expressed by means of imitative trajectories, giving the public the impression of an immobile journey’,” he says.

Despite the impenetrable artspeak, his shows are a real spectacle of colour and movement, showing influences as varied as Chinese circus and hip-hop, blending audiovisual feasts of sound and hues to create his own vision.

The project is very much a reflection of the energy, enthusiasm and openness of spirit of artists from various horizons, says Ouelhadj, who comes from Lille.

His travels are with the Racines Carrées company in Cambodia are under the auspices of the French Cultural Centre (CCF) in Phnom Penh, and his dance career has taken him from performances in Germany and France to Yemen and Cambodia.

Ouelhadj first travelled to Cambodia last year as a choreographer and interpreter in a production directed by Samir Akika, called I Should Be So Lucky and Unusual Symptoms.  While in Phnom Penh, he began meeting Cambodian artists from all kinds of directions, working in contemporary dance and hip-hop.

These meetings – transcending the barriers of language and culture – inspired him to create a new artistic language of dance in this new work, thanks to the initiatives of the CCF, who invited two other French hip-hop dancers and break dancers.

Tickets to the two performances are free from CCF at 218, Street 184, Phnom Penh or from Amrita Performing Arts at 128 Sothearos Boulevard.
 
See Carnet de Voyage, preceded by the work Pensée Contemporaine with choreography by Khen Somnang, at Chenla Theatre, May 11 and 12, at 7pm.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15