During my stay in Cambodia, Husk made it possible for me to visit a rehearsal at this Circus. My passion is making photos of performing arts and this was for me the first time at a circus. “Phare” is a special place. All the artists have their education at the school at Battambang, a small city at the border with Thailand. In 1975 during the regime of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge, all forms of art were abolished. In 1994 the association called Phare Ponleu Selpak was grounded, but the initiative came from a small group of refugees who came back to Cambodia from a refugee camp years before and decided to bring back art and culture to their home land. This school now gives the possibility to disadvantaged children to develop themselves by providing free food, support and education in visual and performing arts.
Wenn I arrived at the tent I discoverd that there was not much light inside. A big challenge for me. It was hot and many fans were turning. First there was a warming up, and then they started with the routines to practice. The main difference I discovered between a dance rehearsal and these circus routines is that there is another form of expression. When a dancer rehearses, there is a certain expression all over the body, not here. And I can understand because it takes a big concentration to find a balance of your body, or to juggling with cones or balls. Also the acrobatics are sometimes dangerous, it takes full concentration.
The movements are fast and with the lack of ligth It was a challenge to capture the moments I was searching for. But I did find them, these small moments in between.
The performance I visited later was filled with beautiful emotions, skills and surrender. I will write about this performance , Sokha, later. It was a show that touched me emotional very much.. It is a combination of circus skills and acting, not with words but with their whole expression they tell a story.
Here is a small impression of a daily rehearsal routine of some of these beautiful artists of the Phare Circus .
If you like to know more you can visit their side. They wrote a blog about the artistic leader of the circus, Houn Bonthoeun, with some photos I made.