|The Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe of San Jose, California under the artistic direction of Ms. Savary Dean and the Ho Chan Ensemble, a pin peat percussion group from Long Beach, California will present dances and music originally performed for the Royal Court in Cambodia. The blessing dance, Robam Chun Por and Robam Buong Suong Yakon will be followed by a special performance of Robam Hanuman and Sovan Macha with Ms. Charya Burt and Mr. Sara Pheng dancing. Bophal lokai will introduce the youngest members of the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe before the Ho Chan Ensemble does a special presentation of classical Cambodian pin peat music. Robam Plert, the Fan Dance will be the elegant conclusion of the program.
Echoes of the Royal Courts tells a part of the story of the Reamker, the Khmer or Cambodian adaptation of the Ramayana. This classical dance and music tells the story of Hanuman, the brave monkey with his band of loyal monkeys building a bridge to Nirvana and meeting Sovan Macha, the golden mermaid and her band of sparking mermaids. It is a timeless story of long ago.
Echoes of the Royal Court brings to San Jose the classical Cambodian dance and music of Ms. Savary Dean and Mr. Ho Chan, both artists who trained in Cambodia before fleeing the Khmer Rouge. Ms. Dean brings her art to San Jose in memory of her teachers who perished in Cambodia. Echoes of the Royal Court features musicians of the Ho Chan Ensemble with their classical pin peat drums and reed instruments, the Cambodian Cultural Dance Troupe and Ms. Charya Burt and Mr. Sara Pheng as Hanuman, the Monkey King.
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.
Ho Chan survived and so did his music, that last great gift of his grandfather. Today, Chan is a master of traditional Cambodian pin peat music and keeps the ancient form alive in his new country.
“I wanted to keep the tradition alive and play like my grandfather,” Chan says.
The experience of Ho Chhing Chan wasn’t so different from that of millions of his countrymen. Chan was one of the lucky ones who survived the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge reign in Cambodia.
His grandfather wasn’t. Chan Chug was one of the 1.7 million or more who died in the four years Pol Pot was in power.