The long practice from mid September 2000 to mid April 2001 of the Cambodian dance group had displayed the big picture during the Cambodian New Year festival last April 14. The audience, including local Cambodians, guests, and Congressman Mike Honda, gave big applauses to the 36 dancers who did an outstanding job in performing the Khmer classical and folk dances. The performers include the 14 little girls age 4 to 11 who had demonstrated their glorious images of the “Glory Day dance”, in Khmer “Tivea Prapey dance”. Little 4 year-old Jocelyn Tran really enjoyed being part of the dance group and was proud of herself that evening. She came to the Friday evening practice every week with her sister Jennifer who is 7 years old. The dance instructor, Ms. Savary Dean, thought that Joycelyn was not ready to perform the Glory Day dance for the 2001 New Year’s event because she was a lot younger than the other girls. But Joycelyn was very excited and ready to join the group. She would do anything her parents told her to do as long as she could go to the dance practice and perform the dance. During the performance that evening, Joycelyn brought a smile to the audience’s face and the audience was proud of her courage and talent. Joycelyn and her group has also performed that same dance for the APFRC’s anniversary, the Evergreen Library young reader’s celebration, and will perform for the RFC multicultural show in September of this year.
The “Chhayam dance” was another outstanding dance at the Cambodian New Year event. This was the new dance taught by Mr. Thavro Phim. Many people commented the sound of the drums and the comic character of a 20 years old Ratha Nou who did an outstanding job as a “Chhap” dancer for the “Chhayam” dance. As a break dancer, Ratha also showed his talent in the Khmer folk dances. Congressman Mike Honda who was the guest of honor also enjoyed the shows and gave his great support to Ratha and the whole dance group members. I believe the RFC funding made it possible for the Cambodian community and other guests to come together to celebrate and enjoy the Cambodian New Year Festival of April 14, 2001.