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Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe

Funded by in part by grant:

Arts Council Silicon Valley
City of San Jose
Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Practice Place & Schedule:


Tully Community Branch Library
880 Tully Rd.
San Jose, CA 95111    Map

Seven Trees Community Center
3590 Cas Drive
San Jose, CA 95111

Date/Time: (5:00 - 8:00pm)

09/09/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
09/16/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
10/07/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
10/21/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
10/22/11 Saturday 10:00 AM 12:00 PM Grace Church
10/29/11 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
11/04/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
11/11/11 Friday 5:30 PM 7:30 PM Home of Savary Dean (?)
11/18/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
11/25/11 Friday 5:30 PM 7:30 PM TBD
11/26/11 Saturday     TBD
12/02/11 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
12/09/11 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
01/06/12 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
01/13/12 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
01/20/12 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
01/27/12 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
02/03/12 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
02/10/12 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
03/02/12 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
03/09/12 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center
03/16/12 Friday 5:30 PM 8:00 PM Tully Branch Library
03/23/12 Friday 5:00 PM 8:00 PM 7 Trees Community Center

Ms. Charya Burt, dance consultant will be working with the dancers on October 21 and 22, 2011.

As additional practice space is found, dance practice should become weekly on Fridays.

Who can participate: Children age 5 and up Adults & Young adults Participants will perform for the Community Khmer New Year Festival.

>> Registration Form <<

Welcome to the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe, a program of the Cambodian American Resource Agency, Inc., (CARA)
CARA was founded in 1998 to help initiate and provide support for community based activities which unite the Cambodian community to foster the Cambodian culture and work toward the progress of future generations.
The Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe is a gift of Ms. Savary Dean, Artistic Director, to the Cambodian community and to San Jose. Ms. Dean and the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe are committed to preserving the traditions and culture of Cambodia found in the classical and folk dances of Cambodia. Ms. Dean wants to keep her culture alive in honor of her teachers who perished during the Cambodian Holocaust.
In 2011-2012 with support from the Arts Council Silicon Valley, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and donations from friends and families all interested children and adults can participate in dance practice/lessons on the above dates.
Please contact the following volunteers if you cannot attend or if you have additional questions, comments or concerns:
  • Savary Dean, artistic director
    Tel: (408) 226-9902/ (408) 425-0798
    Email: dedeantruck at yahoo.com
  • Leslie Kim, volunteer
    Tel: (650) 852-0449/ (650) 814-7300
    Email: leslieakim at gmail.com
  • Raline Von-Buelow, dance instructor
    Tel: (831) 419-7463
  • Email: Raline24 at gmail.com

Our Dance Troupe performed dances for the evening of formal dinner with hundreds of guests at Clint Eastwood Club House on Carmel Golf course, top of the hill. The Freedom Fields USA (http://www.freedomfieldsusa.org) has about 12 members including Mrs. Dina Eastwood (wife of Clint E).


Coordinators and Dance Instructors


Mrs. Chamroeun Yean, Coordinator - She moved to San Jose in early 1980. She now has a professional career as a Knowledge Development Engineer. Raising two beautiful children and overcoming many big changes in her life are among her proudest accomplishments. Despite the distance of time and space from her homeland, her love for Cambodian people and culture is rooted deeply in her heart. At the present, she and her two children are intimately involved in the Cambodian-American community in San Jose, where she volunteers tirelessly in the Khmer Cultural Dance Group.


Mrs. Savary Dean, Instructor- has donated her time and talents as a Khmer dance instructor to the Cambodian children of San Jose for the past 10 years. In her own words, "It is very improtant to continue our Cambodian culture and spirit to the next generation. It is my pleasure to pass my Khmer dance knowledge to teach our children." Mrs. Dean was trained as a young girl at the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh before the Khmer Rouge era. When she was luckily returned to Phnom Penh after the 4 dreadful years she went back to the Fine Arts university. A short time later she joined her family in a journey to the U.S. in 1982. She is residing with her husband and 2 wonderful children in San Jose.


Mrs. Raline Von-Buelow (Assistant Instructor) - Raline was a student of the University of Fine Arts and later changed her career to be a school teacher. She moved on to work with the Australian foundation children for two years. Raline joined her husband to the US in December 2000.

She has joined the dance group in 2001 as our dance assistance instructor helping Mrs. Savary Dean. Raline is hoping to help preserve the Cambodian culture so that the Cambodian children growing in America will always be inspired by our rich heritage.

Former Instructors:

Mr. Thavro Phim, Instructor - We were very fortunate to have Mr. Thavro join us. He came from the University of Fine Arts where he graduated as a dance professor. Mr. Phim came to help our San Jose children with his specialty as a dancer of the "monkey" role. He taught here a couple of years ago when he first arrived in the Bay Area. Mr. Phim states, "I am encouraged that the San Jose Cambodian community is interested in learning some of the positive parts of their culture and history, such as dance, parts which have been buried in their minds by the war and other recent troubles in their ancestral homeland. I appreciate the chance to share the knowledge and skills I have."


We also counted on Mrs. Pok Mao, the former assistant dance instructor who has helped the group for a few year now. Mrs. Pok's duty is to assist new students and oversee their progress. She generally helps Mrs. Dean with the dance practice proccess when she is needed. More than that Mrs. Pok gives transtortation to those students who need to be picked up and dropped off. She also bring her five children to participate in classes. Mrs. Pok is living in San Jose with her husband and five children.

We thank Mrs. Dean, Mr. Phim, and Mrs. Pok for their time and talents to pass along their knowledge to our young generation. We also thank Mrs. Yean for her willingness to volunteer time with the group. Although she has no knowledge of dance, we always can count on her. These are her words: "Helping the Cambodian children find their roots through the culture adds more than words can say to them while they are growing in the western civilization. If I don't help now, who will? If more of us help, then more of the youngsters learn who we are as Khmer." Mrs. Chamroeun Yean graduated as school teacher in Phnom Penh right at the 1975 fallback, came to the USA in late 1979, is living with her two children in San Jose.

We also want to expand our appreciation to the San Jose Cambodian children that are currently participating in the dance classes, and to the parents that have encouraged and brought them. Without all of you, there would be no classes. Please keep coming and keep helping wahtever you can to make our local Cambodian community better and bright.

Cambodian New Year 2011

At the Cambodian New Year 2004 Festival, we performed the following dances: (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

  1. Robam Choun Por - Blessing Dance
  2. Robam Koah-Ang-Reh The Pestle Dance
  3. Robam Apsara The Apsara Dance
  4. Robam Priep-San-Te-Pheap White Doves of Peace Dance
  5. Robam Chhayam

At the 2003 Khmer New Year's event, we performed the following dances: (CLICK HERE FOR MORE)

  1. Robam Neary Chea Chuor
  2. Robam Meh-Am-Bao
  3. robam Phuong Neary
  4. Robam Moni Mekala
  5. robam Koah Trah Lauk
  6. Sevendays Color Fashion Show
  7. Robam Hamrong & Yeeke Tum-Teav (Cambodian Romeo & Juliet)
  8. Robam Chhayam

At the 2002 Khmer New Year's event, we performed the following dances:

  1. Robam Hanuman & Sovann Machha
  2. Robam Kngoak Posatt
  3. Robam Bopha Lokey
  4. Robam Krapp performed by: Our special guests, the Cambodian youth group, from Oakland
  5. Robam Phlet
  6. Robam Chhayam

At the 2001 Khmer New Year's event, we performed the following dances:

  1. Chhayam taught by Thavro Phim
  2. Monkey Dance taught by Thavro Phim
  3. Tivea Prapey taught by Savary Dean
  4. Blessing Dance taught by Savary Dean
  5. Good Crops Dance taught by Savary Dean
  6. Pestle Dance taught by Savary Dean

Brief Description of Cultural Dances


Chhayam: This is a comic, improvised dance accompanied by long drums which often precedes a ceremonial parade.

Monkey Dance: (Prathom Sva Pol): A dance which demonstrates movements of a certain kind of "monkey" character in Cambodian dance-dramas. Watch closely to see them picking fleas and scratching.

Tivea Prapey: A group of young children dance while the lyrics speak of a holdiay celebration honoring the glory of Cambodia. This is part of the classical dance repertoire.

Blessing Dance: (Chuon Por): In this classical piece, "The Blessing Dance" flower petals are tossed gently from small silver or gold trays as a way of blessing the audience and the event.

Good Crops Dance: (Pok Pal or Tonitine): This folk dance represents the upland rice planting and harvesting activities of ethnic minority residents of Cambodia's mountainous northeast.

Pestle Dance: (Angres): The "Pestle Dance" presents peasants celebrating their harvest on a night lit by the full moon. The villagers use a long pestle to pound the rice. Such pestles serve as props in this dance