HERE I STAND IN TIME
by Peter Chin
in collaboration with Chey Chankethya &
the Artists of Amrita Performing Arts
Produced by Tribal Crackling Wind in collaboration with Amrita Performing Arts. In-kind contribution by Somatoa Lotus Textiles and Additional support Robert Boszch Stiftung through Cambodian Living Arts.
Dancers of Amrita Performing Arts
Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle), Nam Narim, Phon Sopheap (Amrita’s artistic leadership team)
Chey Rithea, Chy Ratana, Hou Cheychanrith, Kao Sithy Nita, Khon Chansina, Khon Chan Sithyka, Noun Sovitou,Sor Sophal, Soy Chanborey, Sour Kimseng, Yon Chantha, Yon Davy.
Dancers Associated with Amrita Performing Arts
Khiev Sovannarith, Khuon Chamroeun, Leav Chanlyka, Nop Samboramey, Oeun Sokunthea, Ouk Channita, Phon Chanpisey, Pumtheara Chenda, Than Chanthakunny, Sang Malen.
Pheap Sovannkakada, Tep Chandalin, Thon Mithona, Thy Chandara.
Thong Kim Ann, Sam Sathya.
Ros Sokunthea (lead musician), Ing Vanna, Khem Rith, Meoun Chanthy, San Kimsour
This title is a personal, conscious declaration. So therefore it is strong and self-aware, not passive, not vague. It is concrete, awake, ready, full of potential, at the service of something bigger than oneself, conscious of a large framework and one’s personal position within it. It is specific but open to broad and universal interpretation.
– it is a place, a specific place, which fits the site-specific nature of the project. It therefore honours the place, in this case, the generic streetscape of Phnom Penh, where the common person works to make a living, to find meaning in life. The public realm is to be honoured as much as the palace, the vihear, the school. “Here” acknowledges the common person, who is not to be forgotten when we make a special artistic offering. This piece is for everyone, not just kings and queens, people with lots of money, powerful people, prominent artists, smart people, but for everyone, all kinds of people.
-Here is also the White Building, the Bassac Theatre and S21 Prison. We acknowledge the specific features and quali-ties and histories of those places, and we engage with that to make art, to make a special ceremonial connection through the beauty and poetry of dance and music and meditation.
-Here is a moment in time, a specific moment that stands in the flow of time, of history, where we can be in the present moment while looking back and looking forward
-I am personally involved, I am not anonymous, nor just a nameless participant; I put my name, my identity, my whole being into this collective project. I am one of many I’s in this project, about 30 I’s (because there are 30 per-formers), and by extension, 7 billion I’s that are alive today in the world, and by extension, the trillions of beings that have lived on this earth in the past and will live on this earth in the future, and by extension, the countless hosts of sentient beings, animals that have lived, live now, and will live on this earth. It is a declaration of identification of myself, I, being a part of all of humanity, past, present and future, and also of all living beings of the earth. It is a as-sertion of Oneness.
-I also reinforces the personal responsibility and commitment of each individual to do their best, to go as deep into their being as possible, to take their part in this vast project called humanity, and to join with open hearts and a co-operative, loving spirit with others to move forward and manifest the best that is the human spirit.
-it is a posture that means ready, active, engaged, standing on the earth, grounded, full of conviction.
-it is a noun as in “take a stand” which means standing up for something that you believe in, something that is right, fighting for truth and justice, standing against the prevailing or predominant forces that tell you things that you do not believe in, or that you do not believe are right.
-it can mean, together, as in musicians playing together in time, coordinated, harmonious, following the same tem-plate.
-it can mean “on time”, punctual, the right time, just in time, timely.
-it can mean a particular position, a place within the flow of time. So that means it can suggest history. What is my personal position within the flow of events of Cambodian history? I am born after the Khmer Rouge war, but I am still affected by it, it still affects the choices I make in my life, in my art-making, in my thoughts. There is Khmer an-cient history too, from Angkor times and other periods of history that still flow through my present-day reality, and even within me. There is what is happening right now in Cambodia, present-day history, each moment unrolling to make more and more history, and I am a part of it. Here is my chance to consciously stand in my place, through my awakened participation in this moment of history, Cambodian history, world history, humankind’s history. Also, as a young Cambodian artist, I am in the special position to look ahead in time, knowing that the influence and impact of my generation will become more and more important, and in fact, become the establishment, the mainstream, the senior level of society. What will Cambodia be like in the future? what kind of Cambodia, what kind of world do I want to see in the future? Am I a part of that future in a pro-active way? As a dancing/music-making artist involved in this project, do I take my personal responsibility to use my inner life, my meditative practice, my dancing and my music to create something within this group that will resonate in time and space, going out far and wide, hopefully touching peoples’ hearts, hopefully making a contribution towards making the world and humankind better? When I say to myself, while performing this piece, “here, I stand in time” what will this mean to me?
Part 1: The Park opposite Meta House (or opposite Build Bright University)
concept and choreography – Peter Chin
in collaboration with Chey Chankethya and the dancers
music – Traditional and Peter Chin
in collaboration with Ros Sokunthea (lead musician) and the musicians
Part 2: Tuol Sleng (S-21) Museum
concept by Chey Chankethya
choreography – Chey Chankethya
Circling the Tree of Life
choreography – Peter Chin and Sam Sathya
in collaboration with the artists
music – Traditional and Peter Chin
in collaboration with the musicians
Part 3: 3G Football Court
concept – Peter Chin and Kang Rithisal
choreography – Peter Chin and Thong Kim Ann
in collaboration with the dancers
music – Traditional
Peter Chin, Artistic Director of interdisciplinary dance company Tribal Crackling Wind, has been called a “renaissance man” based on his work as a dancer/choreographer, composer/musician, writer, designer and director. Chin was born in Kingston Jamaica, and is based in Toronto and Phnom Penh. Besides his work in Canada, he has also conducted extensive research and creative activity in Asia, Cambodia and Indonesia in particular. Chin’s performance works have been presented across Canada at major dance and music festivals, as well as in Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Taiwan, India, Singapore, Holland, Jamaica, Mexico, Columbia and the United States. Peter Chin is the recipient of numerous awards including five Dora Mavor Moore Awards for dance, as well as the Muriel Sherrin Award for international achievement in dance, a Gemini award for his performance in the film Streetcar, among others.
Chey Chankethya started off her career touring nationally and internationally with the Royal Ballet of Cambodia under the direction of HRH Norodom Buppha Devi. In 2008 Kethya began working with Amrita as an artist and was introduced to contemporary dance. Since then she has been a featured dancer of award winning pieces of contemporary dance, as well as becoming one of Cambodia’s most prolific choreographers in her own right. Kethya’s works have been presented in Singapore Intl Festival of the Arts, Bangkok International Arts Festival in 2014 and Season of Cambodia festival, amongst others. In 2011- 2014 Kethya received the Fulbright scholarship with support from the Asian Cultural Council to obtain her MFA degree in Dance/Choreography at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she also received the OS Mostin Award. In 2014 Kethya became the Artistic Director of Amrita.
Sam Sathya was born in 1969 and started learning classical dance majoring in female role in 1981. She was among the first generation to enter the school of fine arts when it opened after the Khmer Rouge’s. She finished the school in 1988 and became a classical dance teacher the following year. Sathya is a star dancer at the school of dance. She dances the role of Seda (Sita) in the Cambodia’s Ramayana epic in all the performances of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts including the Ramayana Festival at Angkor Wat temple. She was lead dancer in the dance pieces by the renowned Cambodian choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro including Samritchak (a re-interpretation of Shakespear’s Othello), Seasons of Migration, and Pamina Devi (a re-interpretation of Mozart’s Magic Flute). Sathya appeared as the principal role in Persephone by internationally acclaimed stage director Peter Sellars. She has represented Cambodian dancers in a lot of international and local conferences and workshops. She has choreographed a number of classical dance works and worked in a number of contemporary dance pieces. Sathya is currently a faculty member of the Faculty of Choreographic Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts.
Tribal Crackling Wind (TWC) is an interdisciplinary performing arts company based in Toronto. It was founded in 1999 to bring together the artists and means to produce the works of artistic director Peter Chin. TWC is a distinctive creative force, bringing riveting ritual-based events to acclaim in its native Canada and internationally. The company’s repertoire has been shaped by the multi-faceted creativity of Peter Chin’s leadership.Described as a “renaissance man”, Peter Chin is a choreographer, composer, designer, writer, director and performer of dance and music. He creates works that potentially engage all of these disciplines, inspired by the Asian paradigm of “Total Theatre”.Born in Jamaica of mixed Chinese, black and Irish ancestry, Peter Chin is also a true multicultural soul and his rich heritage has been played out through the company’s repertoire, giving it a genuine international and global character.Within these creations, performers and creators are directly involved in the meaning of the work, aspiring to the proverbial merging of art and life. Transformation through real ritual, as opposed to a mere representation of ritual is the desire. www.tribalcracklingwind.ca
Amrita Performing Arts (Amrita) is a leading contemporary dance and producing company from Cambodia. Amrita is committed to the creation of Cambodian contemporary dance and theatre, responding to the creative drive of a young generation of artists who have taken on the task of ushering Cambodia’s performing arts heritage into the future. Artists from Amrita have worked with international directors and choreographers such as, Arco Renz, Eko upriyanto, Emmanuèle Phuon, Pichet Klunchun, Peter Chin and Peter Sellars, as they continue to explore and create their own works. Through its work, the company aims to translate the experience of current social conditions into the dance parameters of time, space and physical energy, exploring the themes of emergence from isolation towards integration within the complexities of the contemporary world. Amrita also assists in nurturing Cambodian practitioners in all areas of arts management, engages in dialogues of creative practices and policy, and facilitates connections between Cambodian and international performing arts communities. www.amritaperformingarts.org
Tribal Crackling Wind
Peter Chin, Artistic Director
Adina Herling, General Manger
Hul Rasy, Assistant to the Artistic Director
Naishi Wang, Additional Assistant
Amrita Performing Arts
Kang Rithisal, Executive Director
Chey Chankethya, Artistic Director
Chumvan Sodhachivy (artistic leadership team)
Nam Narim (artistic leadership team)
Phon Sopheap (artistic leadership team)
In Samphirachny, Office Manager
Lim Chanboramy, Project Coordinator
Ros Sothmmea, Project Coordinator
Vorn Bunnary, Finance & Admin Coordinator
Chrin Chandara, Finance Assistant
Hourt Bunny, Production Coordinator
Dang Chariya, Project Assistant
Chea Sopheak, Project Assistant
Chen Borey, Technical Assistant
Kong Vollak, Documentation Artist
Vong Sopheak, Photographer
Film crew led by Lim Sipheng
Special thanks to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Tuol Sleng Museum. We are deeply grateful to Mr Chhay Visoth, Director of the Tuol Sleng Museum and his staff for their kind facilitation. Many thanks also go to Cambodian Living Arts for their coordination. Thanks go to Meta House for their logistics support.