The group stays in a hotel at Siam Square © Dinyah Latuconsina
Bangkok – Pichet Klunchun’s hometown knows all about dance
Bangkok is unmistakably a very vibrant city in the region in terms of economics and politics. Yet nowadays it is also internationally known as home for many respectable contemporary dancers, choreographers and dance critics, one of them is Pichet Klunchun who is also taking part on the Fire! Fire! Fire! project.
Fire! Fire! Fire! – through the eyes of Vanndy, a Cambodian court dancer
According to Sovanndy Sot (Vanndy), one of the Cambodian dancers, Pichet’s work on Fire! Fire! Fire! is the most intriguing piece of all. She found it very refined even if the story line was not clear for her, at least not as clear as Sophiline’s piece. Trained since her early teenage years as a classical Cambodian court dancer, Vanndy is very keen to learn more about Pichet’s way of choreographing and expressing a story. Vanndy said, a piece like Pichet’s is rarely to be seen in Phnom Penh. Therefore she really is grateful that the Fire! Fire! Fire! project has given her more chance to be with international dancers and choreographers whose works and expressions are totally different from what she usually sees in Cambodia.
In Sophiline’s piece for Fire! Fire! Fire! Vanndy plays the role as Reap (Rahwana), and later as one of the four giants. Her role as a giant does not prevent her to feel the sorrow of Neang Seda (Sita) though when she learns that Preah Ream (Rama) doesn’t want to take her back as his wife after knowing about the kidnapping by Reap. Vanndy shares Sophiline’s idea about Seda’s role that represents a woman’s way of thinking and feeling. Women usually do not talk loudly about their affection and hurt even in their love relationship. Sophiline brings in a genuine idea to twist the end of the story of Sita’s trial episode. She and her six dancers try to bring this new approach to the Ramayana epic through the classical movements of Cambodian dance, which are remarkably still much loved by the Cambodians and international audience.
Sophiline with two dancers: Sovanndy (Vanndy) Sot, Sophiline Cheam Saphiro, Socheata Chao © Dinyah Latuconsina
Wrapping up Bangkok
In Bangkok Fire! Fire! Fire! is the closing performance of the dance festival Our Roots Right Now organized by the Faculty of Arts Chulalangkorn University. The three choreographers, Sophiline, Pichet and Eko will give workshop for registered participants before the show on January 28, 2013 and are scheduled to have a Q & A session for the audience after it.