Monday, March 30, 2009

Joint International Circus Concert Performed in Phnom Penh


Phar Ponleu Selpak, an arts organization in Phnom Penh, in cooperation with the French Cultural Center (CCF), hosted a joint international circus March 27-28, 2009, in Phnom Penh, aiming to promote and conserve traditional and contemporary arts and culture in Cambodia.

Mao Kosal, Executive Director of Phar Ponleu Selpak, said 84 professional circus artists, including 28 Cambodians and 35 international artists from nine countries, took part in the performance. The artists came from all over the world, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Laos, and Vietnam.

Kosal said this is the sixth circus organized by Phar Ponleu Selpak. The purpose of the event is to share various styles of circus performances among Cambodian and international artists in order to promote and develop the arts in Cambodia.

“This cultural event will promote traditional and contemporary arts and culture with the nine countries that participated. I hope that as a result of the concert, all artists will gain a deeper insight into the importance and values of their countries,” Kosal said.

He said in addition to the performance at CCF, the circus is also scheduled to perform on April 2 at a park in front of the Botum Vadey pagoda in Phnom Penh and in Battambang province on April 5. Entry for the circus performance at Botum Vadey pagoda is free of charge for Cambodians and internationals. Tickets for the Battambang performance are US$8 for internationals and US$4 for Cambodians.

Phar Ponleu Selpak will conduct circus training for Cambodian youths and continue to organize the joint international circus concert every year in Cambodia to promote circus performances, Kosal said.

Proeung Chhieng, Vice Dean of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that in current years, the Cambodian circus declined due to the lack of performance opportunities and students attending the arts school. He said that the Phar Ponleu Selpak’s joint international circus concert helped the Royal University of Cambodia and the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in promoting and developing the circus in Cambodia.

“I appreciate Phar Ponleu Selpak’s hard work and I think that this cultural event is very important for Cambodians because it is not only a way to exchange playing experiences, but also a way to be able to promote the circus and other cultural arts in Cambodia,” Chhieng said.

He emphasized that according to documents, the circus a traditional Cambodian art form that was established in the 13th century during the Angkor period. He said circus activities were also sculpted on the walls of the Bayon temple in Siem Reap province.

“I believe that with these organized cultural activities we will able to develop and promote our traditional arts and culture in the future,” Chhieng said.

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