Bryn Mawr College’s Month of Cambodian Arts and Culture


“In the month leading up to the World Premiere of Khmer Arts Ensemble’s The Lives of Giants, Bryn Mawr College  will host a series of free events designed to expand the audience’s knowledge of Cambodian Dance and Cambodian culture. The events, beginning September 26, will also include a series of workshops in Cambodian Dance. A full listing of events is at More information can also be found by calling the Office of Arts at 610-526-5210.

Khmer Arts Ensemble’s The Lives of Giants will run one night only on Friday, October 22 at 8 p.m. in the McPherson Auditorium, at Goodhart Hall as a centerpiece of Bryn Mawr College’s 2010-2011 Performing Arts Series. Ticket prices are $20, $18 for senior citizens, and free for Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore students, faculty and staff, $10 for students of other schools, and $5 for children 12 and under. Priority seating is available for $90 subscription packages ($75 packages for senior citizens). For more information and tickets visit  Brown Paper Tickets, call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210, or visit .

Among the events preceding The Lives of Giants performance are a workshop in the dance of the Monkey King, gorgeous Cambodian costumes and masks up close, a Cambodian Dance Festival followed by a discussion and Cambodian food, a film screening exploring how Cambodian classical dance arose after the destruction and genocide of the Pol Pot regime, and much more.

The events include:

Classical Cambodian Dances Directed and Performed by: Chamroeun Yin and company

Sunday, September 26, 7 p.m.
Location: Hepburn Teaching Theatre, Goodhart Hall
Chamroeun Yin first came to the United States as an artistic refugee in 1981. After he escaped to a refugee camp and met a group of dancers from the Royal Ballet Yin was able to study his craft in earnest. He continues to teach and perform classical dance in Philadelphia. In addition to his work in dance, his intricate embroidery, jewelry and costume work has been exhibited at the Fleisher Art Memorial and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Goodhart Reception follows featuring Cambodian foods.

Masks and Costumes of Classical Khmer Dance

Tuesday, September 28th, 6:30 PM
Goodhart Music Room
Artist and dancer, Chamroeun Yin, will display and discuss the splendid and elegant costumes and masks associated with Cambodian dance.  He will discuss how he constructs the costumes and masks and answer questions.  Some of the masks and costumes will remain on display in Canaday Library through the month of October. Light refreshments will be served.

Dancing through Death: The monkey, magic, and madness of Cambodia, Film showing and discussion with Thavro Phim

October 4th, 4:15 PM
Cosponsored by the Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict
This hour long film documents the story of Thavro Phim, who came of age under the Pol Pot regime and lost many of his close family members to the genocide inflicted by the Khmer Rouge.  During this horrific period, nearly 90 percent of the dancers were executed or died of starvation or disease. His Buddhist faith and his dedication to the study, performance, and teaching of Cambodian classical dance, particularly his representation of Hanuman, the magical white monkey are key in surviving and finding his identity. The film includes footage of dance as it struggled to survive in the prisons, the refugee camps and as it emerged after the downfall of the Khmer Rouge. In the film, we also learn about Yale’s Cambodian Genocide Project and see Thavro return to Cambodia to find his remaining family and teachers.

Cambodian Monkey Dance: Trickster, Warrior and King ~ with Thavro Phim

October 18th
7:00 PM
Workshop, Pem Studio
Call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210 to reserve a space.
This is a workshop that will introduce participants to the story and movement of the Monkey–a king, a warrior, a trickster, and an adventurer. It is open to dancers, as well as to those with experience in other movement forms ranging from tai chi and capoeira to theatrical improvisation.

Thavro Phim is an expert linguist, artist, author, editor, and translator. A survivor of the genocide who was educated in classical dance at the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh he excels in the male style. Mr. Phim has taught, performed, and been honored for his work throughout the US. He continues to teach and work in Philadelphia and works within the Public School system as well. Mr. Phim was a research associate for the Yale Cambodian Genocide Program.


Classes are free but you must call to reserve a space: 610-526-5210

–Wednesday, October 20, time/tba ~ Swarthmore College, dance studio

–Thursday, October 21, 4-5:30 ~ Bryn Mawr College, Pem Dance studio

–Saturday, October 23, 10:30-11:30 ~ Cambodian Assoc. North Dance Studio, (appropriate for younger students)

–Saturday, October 23, 1:00-2:00 ~ The Performance Garage, 1515 Brandywine, Philadelphia (appropriate for dancers with more extensive training in Cambodian or other techniques)- studio is one block north of Spring Garden and accessible by #2 bus or orange-broad street line

Learning to Listen Cambodian Music: Demonstration and Discussion with Teaching Artist Roes Souk

Saturday, October 23rd
7 PM
Goodhart Free Admission
Reservations are required; call the Office for the Arts at 610-526-5210 to reserve.

About the Bryn Mawr Performing Arts Series

Since 1984 the Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series has presented great artists and performances to audiences in the Philadelphia area, creating an environment in which the value of the arts is recognized and celebrated. Talks and workshops provided free to the public help develop arts awareness and literacy. The Series works to lower barriers to arts access through its partnership with Art-Reach, a non-profit dedicated to improving arts accessibility for people of all ages and circumstances, and through its low ticket prices.

The Bryn Mawr College Performing Arts Series is uniquely positioned as a regional dance presenter. The Series includes two dance performances each season as well as evenings of world music, classical music and theater. The Series’ roster has included performances by: Lucy Guerin Inc., Yin Mei, India Jazz Suites, Sean Curran Company, Garth Fagan Dance, Liz Leman’s Dance Exchange, Heidi Lastly Dance, Urban Bush Women, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company.”

-The Dance Journal (