King Norodom Sihamoni has given his blessing to the development of an academy for
classical ballet, modern dance and orchestral music in Phnom Penh.
A French colonial-style building on Sihanouk Blvd is being renovated to house the
Royal Academy of Music and Ballet in Cambodia, which will be the only school in Cambodia
to offer classical ballet.
A driving force behind the academy has been Haitian-born dancer Yvrose Green, president
of the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folk Art,
an NGO that consults with the United Nations.
Green arrived in Cambodia late last year to teach dance at international schools
and has worked to establish the academy, which will feature European dance teachers
and musicians from the United States.
On May 13, King Sihamoni, a former classical dancer and opera enthusiast, met with
Green and welcomed the idea. Formal approval was given by the Minister of Culture
and Fine Arts June 10.
The academy will offer instruction in classical and modern ballet, contemporary Khmer
dance, tap, jazz and choreography and has long-term plans of forming a philharmonic