Sunday, September 6, 2009

Cambodian-French Artists Jointly Perform Play

BY BUTH REAKSMEY KONGKEA

The French Cultural Centre (FCC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts (MoCFA) has organized a “Joint Lakhaon Festival” on September 4 at the Chenla Theatre in Phnom Penh, aiming to promote tradition and culture between the two countries.

The play performed is titled, “The Young Girl, the Devil, and the Mill” adapted by Olivier Py from the tale by the brothers Grimm, was performed by a group of 15 artists including French and Cambodian artists.

Alain Arnaudet, Director of French Cultural Centre, said that the French director Franck Manzoni worked during 2 months with Cambodian actors and musicians in order to set up the performance. “The main objective of the Lakhaon Festival is to participate in the renaissance of various theatrical forms in Cambodian and also to promote contemporary theatre and exchange among artists from different cultural horizons in Cambodia,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia, Khmer Action Arts, Khmer Art Ensemble, the Department of Fine Arts, and the School of Fine Arts will all work together on this reenactment of the classical story. All performances will be conducted in Khmer with French as well as English subtitles.

“The girl without hands’ written by the Grim brothers is a very popular story in Europe and we thought this “legend” could be a good link with Cambodian culture. As far as I see during the rehearsals the Cambodian actors and the public have a very good contact with the text,” he said. “I think that it’s a very romantic story and also very funny. There is a very good rhythm in the play.”

To promote and develop Cambodian and French traditional cultures, Alain said that FCC will organize more events next months including a contest of architecture involving the students in architecture of Cambodia, a contemporary dance creation in October with Cambodian dancers, a photo festival with many events in town and particularly at the Royal University of Fine Arts (UFA) in Phnom Penh.

Proeung Chhieng, Vice-Dean of the Royal University of Fine Arts, said that he was content with the performing of the Lakhaon Festival in Phnom Penh. He said that the “Joint Lakhaon Festival” performance will help develop and promoting the contemporary arts and traditional culture between the two countries in future. “I think that through this joint theatre performance, Cambodian artists and French artists can gain a deeper insight into the importance and values of both countries. They will hopefully continue the exchange of their cultures and traditional art in future,” he told The Southeast Asia Weekly.

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