Book research leads to amazing discoveries sometimes. This summer my research led me to the Angkor Dance Troupe based in Lowell, Massachusetts, a city not far from where I grew up and with a population estimated to be between 10 and 20 percent Cambodian. I was able to meet with Tim Thou, founder and program director, and with senior and junior dance instructors--all in their teens and early twenties.
Proeung Chhieng, Vice Rector and Dean of Choreographic Arts at the Royal School of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, was visiting and working with the troupe while I was there. I was fortunate to have the chance to watch rehearsals of several dances.
Later at the Southeast Asian Water Festival on August 21, I watched the resulting performances:
the Good Crops folk dance,
Check out this video on the Angkor Dance Troupe website. And if you'll be in Massachusetts in August next year, don't miss the Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival.