Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh - review by Rusty Compass
Phnom Penh | see and do guide

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Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh

| 16 Mar 2015
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Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh
National Museum
7pm Monday to Saturday

Our rating
16 Mar 2015

Each night, Cambodian Living Arts, an NGO, hosts a performance of traditional Cambodian music and theatre in the atmospheric grounds of the National Museum.

Note: The information provided in this review was correct at time of publishing but may change. For final clarification please check with the relevant service

Cambodian Living Arts is an NGO committed to revitalising Cambodia’s traditional arts. Artists were especially hard-hit during the Khmer Rouge reign of terror. The nation’s cultural heritage was devastated.

Cambodian Living Arts was created by Cambodian-American Arn Chorn-Pond in the mid-1990s to revive the country’s shattered culture. It’s a multi-generational project but the fine progress being made is demonstrated in nightly performances in the grounds of the spectacular National Museum.

We saw a performance of Plae Pakaa, a traditional opera of love and tragedy. The one hour show was a terrific introduction to the melodies, dance and costume of traditional Khmer culture. The young cast projected talent and energy before an audience of around 150 - mainly travellers.

It would have been good to hear more about the history of the piece as well as the music.

Cambodian Living Arts is making great strides in building a professional revival of this precious culture. Attendance at these shows makes a modest but valuable contribution to this important process - and you get an entertaining night out thrown in as well. Recommended.

Rusty Compass listings and reviews are always independent and disclosure is important to us. We paid our way to see Plae Pakaa. We have neither sought nor received any inducement financial or otherwise to publish this listing and review.

Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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