Cambodian dancers visit Unquowa School
Published 6:41 pm, Thursday, May 12, 2011
The Children of Bassac young adult dance troupe from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, recently spent the day at the Unquowa School.
The troupe gave a performance for the student body of "Children of Khmer," a collection of ancient classical and folk dances, including the "Sovann Machha Dance," where dancers portrayed playful monkeys and mingled with the audience. The dancers also performed the "Pailin Peacock Dance," which included costumes transforming the performers into peacocks, which bring happiness and prosperity, according to Cambodian tradition.
The dancers then spent the day leading small group workshops, during which students in kindergarten through eighth grade learned about the dances' cultural significance. The dancers' appearance was sponsored by Creative Connections, a Norwalk-based international cultural exchange organization.
The Unquowa students prepared for their visitors by learning about Cambodia's history and culture, and watched a video of the dancers' homes, schools and communities made by the dancers before they left home.
The Upper School students in grades five through eight also studied the Khmer Rouge period and the impact the genocide had on the artistic community in Cambodia.