Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Students take to mime

Students take to mime

Students take to mime

Parisian street mime came to Phnom Penh for the Water Festival in the form of

Laurent Decol who studied under the world's greatest mime artist, Marcel Marceau.

Decol, who claims to have been fascinated by mime since the moment he was born, has

now passed on his skills to eight young Cambodian actors and circus performers from

the National Theater and the School of Fine Arts.

"I can perform anywhere," he declared, "Inside or outside. In a plane,

on a boat, on the water, in a prison. I'm a saltimbanque."

The ebullient French actor has toured 80 countries, traveling continually with his

wife and child for the past six years.

"Cambodians are so open," he told the Post. "They have remarkable

patience and dignity. We can go over something ten times and they never lose patience."

But Decol found Khmers to be perplexing students who generally lacked emotion but

had no trouble learning technique.

"I work on the opposite concept to the Cambodians." He explained. "The

most urgent thing is to express something through emotions."

"We needed a teacher like this," said Meas Saman, 19, who found the training

fascinating. "Mime is such a complement to the rest of my career. I am so happy."

"I've never done anything like this before," enthused Hou Sokthery, a 15-year-old

student, one of only two female performers.

Mime falls between theater, circus and dance and, on the esplanade of the Khmer-Vietnam

friendship monument, they combined all three.

The juggler was nervous and the two female acrobats wobbled slightly through their

supple contortions but the cheers and jeers of a large crowd carried them along.

The Centre Culturelle Francaise funded Decol's visit

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on