On Saturday 2 November we will hold a Contemporary Dance Platform at the Department of Performing Arts. This is a new phase for Amrita in nurturing and furthering Cambodian artist’s choreographic development. Through this platform, works by Cambodian choreographers will be created, developed and showcased alongside highlights from our ongoing international collaborations. More details here.
In this blog, Amrita dancer/choreographer Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) shares her thoughts on the development of the piece she is creating for the Dance Platform.
Belle: October 21, 2013
It’s been one full week and we have spent most of the time talking. We have talked about many things. In this one big room for rehearsal, we are all the ladies and we talk about our lives. Nita and Lina talked about the negative side of their lives, being the daughters continuously challenging their families and their cultures. There are things they would like to do but they can’t. I asked them why they chose to say a sad story, and they replied they really want to talk about it.
In my exchange with Bong Sal (Amrita’s Executive Director), we discussed about telling a negative story in a positive way and expressing something serious in a fun way. Examples like Hiroshi Koike’s tragi-comedy Mahabharata and Chung Yeun Soo’s Horizontal Life, in the part where the three men throw bottles and talk about years of practice before they could do it.
Nita has done a comparison in her mind about Narim (another Amrita dancer/choreographer) and myself as choreographer. She mentioned Narim’s active engagement of her dancers into the movements from Nita’s experience in The Shoes. It’s a good challenge for me and I tried to explain to her different choreographic approaches by different choreographers.
I was trying to talk to Bong Sal and Bong Bunny (Production Coordinator) about having a window, a real one, on stage, but this has been challenged by Bong Sal about the ideas of “symbolism” and “realism”. It does stir my thinking. This is what he said:
Dancing movements are so symbolic, inspired by stories and expressed in movements that audience will see it. They may understand it or not at all. It’s beautiful. Then it is a question when you want to bring a real window on stage. Like in classical dance, the dance bed represents palace, the riverside, sleeping bed, throne, stage for the fighting commander and anything. See? The idea of symbol was already there in classical dance. What do you want that you bring the real window on stage? You can do it of course. No one can stop you if you really have a reason for that and you want it that way. But the artistic choice should not be arbitrary.
I have about 10 more days to go. I ‘m not sure what this journey will lead me to. Let’s see!