The French Cultural Centre will host two free performances of a new dance show at Chenla Theatre this Friday and Saturday.
The dance or roam in Khmer, will be led by the renowned choreographer Chumvan Sodhachivy. She will present the third and final episode in her dance series My Name is…!
Sodhachivy describes the show as a meditation on the relationship between names and identity.
“The idea to create the show came up when I saw three people in my classroom had the same first name. So a first name cannot determine who a person is, because they may share the name with many other people.” she says.
“To differentiate ourselves from other people we cannot rely on names, we need to do things to stand out.”
Sodhachivy, who added that people around her always call her by her nickname, ‘Belle,’ explains the show is also about ways in which Cambodians can determine their ‘real’ name.
“In our society especially in the countryside, parents always call us another nickname even though we have our official names. We have another nickname or many names, if we are aware who we are and can differentiate ourselves from other people, we will be able to find our real name.”
Sodhachivy started her career at the Royal School of Fine Arts where she was trained in performing Apsara and Reamker traditional dance routines, before branching out and single-handedly creating a new style of Khmer contemporary dance that has seen her perform oversees in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.
“Because myself and the other dancers are from a traditional dance background, the way we gesture in our contemporary dances still hides the traditional style inside,” she explained.
“We are artists, so we don’t want to stay with an old form all the time. Traditional dance is preserved so why can’t we create something new to serve our audiences?”
Divided into several smaller dance sequences, My Name is…! Lasts for one hour and will premiere at Chenla Theatre tomorrow at 7pm.
Tickets are free and available from the front desk at the Institut Français or through Amrita Performing Arts.