Chankethya Chey, the Artistic Director

Chankethya Chey (Kethya) started her classical dance training at the age of five. As one of Cambodia’s outstanding classical dancers, Kethya has performed nationally and internationally with the Cambodian Ballet Royal Troupe. In 2006, she was awarded a Choreography Arts Management Fellowship to support a three-month residency at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2009 she received an Asian Cultural Council grant to participate in American Dance Festival. Kethya has worked under some of the world’s leading contemporary choreographers at World Dance Alliance (WDA) choreographic labs in Brisbane, Hong Kong and New Delhi and has been a featured dancer in works by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin, Arco Renz and others who have toured extensively throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Kethya was a soloist in CRACK, a contemporary Cambodian dance work by German choreographer Arco Renz that was awarded the 2012 ZKB Patronage Prize.

She was a 2011-2014 Fulbright and Asian Cultural Council grantee while earning her Master of Fine Arts in Dance/Choreography at University of California, Los Angeles. At UCLA, she was the Mo Ostin Performing Arts Award winner 2013. Kethya’s works have been presented at the Season of Cambodia Festival 2013 in New York, Singapore International Festival of the Arts 2014, Colombo Dance Platform 2016, and i-Dance HK 2016. Kethya became the Artistic Director of Amrita Performing Arts in 2014 and teaches dance at the Secondary School of Fine Arts.

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Rady Nget’s 7-month US residency

Nget Rady (Dancer), began his dance training in 1999  in the monkey role of Lakhaon Kaol and graduated with a BA in choreography from the Royal University of Fine Arts in 2014. As a classical dancer, Rady has toured to Europe and throughout Asia and as a contemporary dancer has performed in numerous works of contemporary dance by Cambodian and international choreographers including Chey Chankethya, Arco Renz, Emmanuele Phuon, and Hiroaki Umeda. Rady is also a featured artist in CRACK that earnt an ZKB Patronage Award 2012 in Switzerland. Rady has choreographed several of his own works including Tension, a work-in-progress created in Amrita’s Contemporary Dance Platform in 2015. He has recently received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council to undertake his seven-month residency in New York City in early 2017 including his participation at the American Dance Festival (ADF). Rady is the dancer/choreographer of Amrita Performing Arts and a faculty member of the Royal University of Fine Arts.

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Amrita continues to nurture artists in choreographic capacity and artistic leadership and arts practitioners in all areas of arts management. In Fall 2016, our production coordinator, who is also a faculty member of the Faculty of Choreographic Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts, took a production management residency with Mark Morris Dance Group and Music Ensemble (MMDG) in New York city.

Nget Rady and Amrita Performing Arts thank the Asian Cultural Council for their generous support. We owe gratitude to Dr Kim Pichpinun, Dean of the Faculty of Choreographic Arts and Dr Bong Savath, President of the Royal University of Fine Arts for their support. We are also grateful to the US embassy in Phnom Penh, Public Affairs Section, Jay Raman, Monica Davis, Ou Socheath, and Pin Samphos for their kind visa rassistance.

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Amrita’s Production Coordinator in New York City

Our Production Coordinator, Bunny Hourt, is currently in a two-month production stage management residency with the international acclaimed New York based dance company, Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG). This residency has been made possible through a grant from the Asian Cultural Council in New York City.

Bunny developed an intimate personal and professional relationship with Johan Henckens, MMDG’s Technical Director when this company came to Cambodia as part of the tour, Excursions 2014. Afterwards, dialogues continued between Amrita and MMDG regarding the possible opportunity in working together until Bunny received the ACC grant to realize this residency.

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Amrita continues to nurture artists in choreographic capacity and artistic leadership and arts practitioners in all areas of arts management. We look forward to 2017 when our emerging dancer/choreographer, Rady Nget, also with a grant from ACC, is undertaking his six-month residency in the US.

We are grateful to the Asian Cultural Council for the generous support, especially to Cecily Cook and Jeremy Gleason. Many thanks to MMDG, particularly Nancy Umaoff and Johan Henckens, for their facilitation.We owe gratitude to Dr Kim Pichpinun, Dean of the Faculty of Choreographic Arts and Dr Bong Savath, President of the Royal University of Fine Arts for their support. We are also grateful to the US embassy in Phnom Penh, Public Affairs Section, Jay Raman and Pheakdey Nhim, for kind visa assistance.

More about Bunny

Hourt Bunny was trained in Khmer folklore dance and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Choreography from the Royal University of Fine Arts. In 2010 with a grant through Amrita Performing Arts, Bunny undertook the stage management fellowship in collaboration with Kelola at Teater Koma in Indonesia. Bunny has worked as a production coordinator for numerous Amrita productions and festivals including the rock opera Where Elephants Weep, Cambodian Youth Arts Festival, Season of Cambodia festival in New York, Mahabharata by Japanese director Hiroshi Koike and toured to Singapore, Japan, Vietnam and Rwanda. In 2014 he participated in the ASEAN Design and Technical Theater Workshop (Phase III) which focused on Production and Stage Management at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, Philippines. Bunny is also a faculty member at the Faculty of Choreographic Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh.

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Chy Ratana The Choreographer

Photos by Cylla Von Tiedemann

Chy Ratana in Woven by Peter Chin. Photo courtesy of Cylla Von Tiedemann.

Chy Ratana (Leak) comes from a family of artists and therefore considered studying dance as natural. He graduated from the Secondary School of Fine Arts with a Baccalaureate in 2000, specializing in the monkey role of Lakhaon Khaol (Cambodian classical male masked dance) form and in 2012 was awarded a BA degree in choreographic arts at the Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh.


In 2006, Leak developed a strong interest in contemporary dance and since then has been a featured dancer in works by Emmanuèle Phuon, Peter Chin, Arco Renz, Akiko Kitamura and others which have toured internationally. He remains faithful to his traditional skills but he is also eager to further develop as a contemporary dancer and choreographer. He was a featured dancer in CRACK – a work of Cambodian contemporary dance by German choreographer Arco Renz that was awarded the 2012 ZKB Patronage Prize in Zurich Switzerland in September 2012.

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Chey Chankethya The Choreographer

Chey Chankethya (Kethya) started off her career touring nationally and internationally with the Royal Ballet of Cambodia under the direction of HRH Norodom Buppha Devi. In 2006 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.

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Chey Chankethya in My Mothers and I. Photo by Tuckys Photography.

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The Terrace of the Leper King – Flashback

“It was very tiring as we were playing many roles (monkey, shadow puppetry, peacock dance, traditional music etc) Sometimes we will go backstage and take a nap between two roles. We even performed twice a day at times. There was no rest but all showcases met a full house, leading the show to be performed to 34 000 people.” Khon Chan Sithyka, one of the Cambodian cast and Amrita artist, telling us about his Terrace of the Leper King experience.

Flashback of the performance below:

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Shadow Puppetry – Photo by Hiropro Inc Company.

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Photo by Hiropro Inc Company.

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Monkeys – Photo by Hiropro Inc Company.

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Apsaras – Photo by Hiropro Inc Company.

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The Terrace of the Leper King – Amon Miyamoto Production

Five Cambodian artists, among them Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle), Chy Lina, Khon Chansithyka (Mo) and Khon Chansina (Nan) from Amrita, have been rehearsing with director Amon Miyamoto on his upcoming production, “The Terrace of the Leper King”, written by the iconic Japanese author by Yukio Mishima. They were invited to collaborate with Japanese actors to revive the glamor of the Khmer empire through Apsara dancing, a classical style dating back to the Angkorean era.

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Cambodian dancers with Japanese director Amon Miyamoto

Amon Miyamoto is one of Japan’s leading theater directors and is now focusing more on Japanese tradition with contemporary flair. His latest work, “The Terrace of the Leper King”, is set in the Khmer Empire of the 12th century. The play follows the story of the rise and the fall of Jayavarman the Seventh, the empire’s most powerful leader. While dedicating himself to building a grand temple he was deformed by disease. It questions whether the soul or a youthful body can represent timeless beauty. “The Terrace of the Leper King” will premiere  in early March in Tokyo.

If you want to watch a short reportage about this groundbreaking piece, click here.

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Amrita dancer Chy Lina

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