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2020 Bangsokol Virtual Arts & Healing Festival

About the festival

Bangsokol, a Requiem for Cambodia is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas of the late 1970s in Cambodia. The work combines traditional Khmer music forms with a Western chamber orchestra and chorus, as well as dance and visual projections. The work seeks to honour all victims of violent conflict and advocate for peace education so that we may forge new paths going forward. The production, commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts (CLA), was the outcome of a 7-year development process and involved over 100 artists from six countries. Since its world premiere in Australia in 2017, Bangsokol has toured in the USA, France, and most recently Cambodia in November 2019. 

In December 2020, CLA and ArtsEmerson will produce a virtual festival as a follow on from the Bangsokol production, involving artists, organisations and communities connected with the project. The virtual programming will include film and concert screenings, talks and newly created artistic works, specifically for online presentation. The festival will link the themes and experiences of this unique production into the contemporary context of pandemic, trauma and conflicts being experienced globally in 2020.

The 2-week festival program will celebrate the intercultural connections forged around a Cambodian story, explore changing contexts in a time of global pandemic and highlight resilience, as well as creative strategies, collaborations, and responses to crisis. The program includes a mixture of screenings (including a documentary about the making of Bangsokol and the Royal Gala Performance in Phnom Penh in November 2019) alongside interactive discussions, all of which will take place virtually and be shared online. The finale of the festival will comprise new music inspired by Bangsokol and a ritual dance performance, commissioned especially for the festival and featuring artists from five of the countries involved in the production.

Get involved! #ArtsHealing2020

During the Arts & Healing: Bangsokol Virtual Festival we hope to highlight stories of creativity, collaboration, and responses to crises around the world in 2020.  YOU can be part of this collective act of resilience. Share an image or video that tells us a story about the arts and healing for you in 2020. You can post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ArtsHealing2020, and tag @CambodianLivingArts (Instagram and Facebook) or @CamboLivingArts (Twitter), and @ArtsEmerson (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook). Submissions will be featured and highlighted throughout the festival!

Festival Program

OPENING WEEKEND1. The Making of a Masterpiece: The Creative Process

Behind the scenes documentary ‘Wandering Souls’ follows ‘Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia’ in the 12 months leading up to its international premiere in Melbourne in 2017. The screening will be followed by a conversation between Oscar-nominated director Rithy Panh (Bangsokol film director), Him Sophy (Bangsokol composer) and Gideon Obarzanek (Bangsokol stage director) moderated by Gwyneth Bravo (NYU Abu Dhabi), about the making of this masterpiece.

With thanks to Aviva Ziegler and Margaret Murphy, ‘Wandering Souls’ directors, for supporting the screening.

Broadcasting Live: Sat 12 Dec 8am ICT / Fri 11 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Sat 12 Dec 10am ICT / Fri 11 Dec 10pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Gwyneth BRAVO

Gwyneth BRAVO is an Assistant Professor of Music at NYU Abu Dhabi and a Global Affiliated Faculty member at NYU. She holds a Ph.D. in Historical Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her research examines the relationship between music, politics, and philosophy in 20th century European and global contexts with a focus on nationalism, migration, exile, war, and commemoration.

More about Gwyneth BRAVO

Speaker

Gideon OBARZANEK

Gideon OBARZANEK is an Australian director, choreographer and performing arts curator. He is currently Co-Artistic Director & Co-CEO of RISING Festival Melbourne. Previous roles have included co-curator for ‘XO State’ at Asia TOPA 2015-17 and Chair of the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2015-19.

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Speaker

HIM Sophy

Dr. HIM Sophy is renowned in Cambodia for his music compositions. He was trained at the Moscow Conservatory of Music as well as the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. He founded the Him Sophy School of Music provides lessons for all Western and traditional Cambodian instruments, and also caters to music composition and music technology.

More about HIM Sophy

Speaker

Rithy PANH

Rithy PANH is an internationally and critically acclaimed Cambodian documentary director and screenwriter. He is the first Cambodian filmmaker ever to be nominated for an Oscar. He also is the co-founder of the Bophana Center, a place that collects image and sound archives related to Cambodia and gives the general public free access to this unique heritage.

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OPENING WEEKEND2. Requiem as a Musical Form in the Context of Cambodia

A conversation between Him Sophy (Bangsokol composer), Trent Walker (Bangsokol librettist) and Andrew Cyr (Bangsokol conductor) moderated by Elena Park (MET Opera, Kennedy Center, etc.), diving deep into the rich linguistic, musical and cultural aspects of this unique production and how it relates to—and deviates from—a traditional Requiem.

Broadcasting Live: Sun 13 Dec 8am ICT / Sat 12 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Sun 13 Dec 9:30am ICT / Sat 12 Dec 9:30pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Elena PARK

Elena PARK has searched for ways to explore ideas, tell timely stories, and make connections. Selected projects spanning stage and screen: NationalSawdust+ with Esperanza Spalding, Patti Smith, and Yo-Yo Ma; artistic consulting for the Kennedy Center; the Met Opera’s worldwide Live in HD series; MTT25: An American Icon; Stanford Live’s digital shows, with musicians from Kronos Quartet to Zakir Hussain; Mozart in the Jungle; and Bel Canto (Julianne Moore / Renée Fleming).

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Speaker

Andrew CYR

Grammy-nominated conductor Andrew CYR, a “prominent influence in the world of newly emerging music” (Washington Post) is a leader in the rapidly growing contemporary music scene. He has served as the Artistic Director at Metropolis Ensemble since 2006. Metropolis Ensemble is a dynamically evolving 21st century orchestra based in New York.

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Speaker

Trent WALKER

Trent WALKER researches and teaches about Southeast Asian Buddhism, literature, and music. At present, he is the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies Postdoctoral Fellow and a lecturer in Religious Studies at Stanford University.

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Speaker

HIM Sophy

Dr. HIM Sophy is renowned in Cambodia for his music compositions. He was trained at the Moscow Conservatory of Music as well as the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. He founded the Him Sophy School of Music provides lessons for all Western and traditional Cambodian instruments, and also caters to music composition and music technology.

More about HIM Sophy

THE FULL EXPERIENCE3. Bangsokol Gala Performance & Audiences’ response from around the world

‘Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia’ is a multi-disciplinary stage production combining music, film, movement and voice. After touring in Australia, the USA and France, Bangsokol premiered in Cambodia in November 2019. Watch the full performance of the Cambodia premiere —graced by the presence of HRH King Norodom Sihamoni as Head of State and Distinguished Patron of CLA. After the screening, we invite you to join a reflection and exchange between audience members Ada Khun, Seda Douglas, Emily Howe and Chea Sopheap, all of whom have a deep connection with Cambodia and experienced the Bangsokol production in different cities during its international tour. Discussion moderated by Amara Goel.

With thanks to Bophana Center, for supporting the screening.

Broadcasting Live: Mon 14 Dec 8am ICT / Sun 13 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Mon 14 Dec 10:30am ICT / Sun 13 Dec 10:30pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Amara GOEL

Amara Goel is a performing artist and a scholar of international policy and cultural relations. With a BA in Voice from the University of Houston, and a Master’s of Global Policy Studies from the LBJ School of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, Amara has performed in Paris, Cambodia, New York, Los Angeles, and Houston. She completed an internship at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, facilitating international cultural diplomacy. Amara has a deep interest in how culture informs interactions among people and states, particularly in contexts of conflict and cultivating peace. She currently resides in Pune, India.

Speaker

Ada KHUN

Ada is a second generation Cambodian American. She has worked for 15 years as a Risk Manager at several global banks. Passionate about gender equality, she has chaired and led diversity initiatives in support of the advancement of Women in Finance. She enjoys Marketing and Branding and has a deep appreciation of the arts and humanities.

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Speaker

Sopheap CHEA

Sopheap CHEA is a historian and the Executive Director of Bophana Audiovisual Resource Centre, where he has worked for over a decade. He has produced cultural events, run film festivals, and installed exhibitions. He is especially interested in the role of arts in telling stories about society.

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Speaker

Emily HOWE

Emily HOWE is an American ethnomusicologist, music educator, and conductor who through her research and practice explores music and sound as a lens into global history and culture, as well as a means of catalyzing social change in diverse contexts.

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Speaker

Seda DOUGLAS

Seda DOUGLAS has 22 years’ experience with ABC’s Radio Australia, as a journalist/broadcaster and executive producer, has enabled her to keep up-to-date with what’s going on around the world, particularly Cambodia and the Asia-Pacific region, and Australian perspectives vis-à-vis global issues. She is also the co-Founder of Save Cambodian Children Fund Australia (SCCFA).

More about Seda DOUGLAS

PERFORMING ARTS PANEL 14. From Cambodia to the World: Creative Collaboration Among Unlikely Partners

When CLA produced the Season of Cambodia Festival in New York City in 2013, people described this small NGO from Cambodia as ‘the little engine that could.’ What inspired arts organisations from Taiwan, the USA and Australia to come on board with CLA as co-commissioners for this ambitious and challenging project? Why did they feel motivated to share Cambodia’s story with a worldwide audience? To learn more about the international collaboration that brought this project to life, attend the conversation between the co-commissioners of Bangsokol: Taipei Philharmonic Foundation, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Cambodian Living Arts, moderated by Tisa Ho (Hong Kong Arts Festival).

This Festival event is contributing to the HowlRound Theatre Commons — a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide.

Broadcasting Live: Tue 15 December 8am ICT / Mon 14 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Tue 15 Dec 9:30am ICT / Mon 14 Dec 9:30pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Tisa HO

Arts administrator, advocate, author and women’s cause campaigner, Hong Kong-born Tisa HO currently serves as Executive Director of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and contributes her time on the boards of various arts organisations internationally and in Hong Kong.

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Speaker

Joe MELILLO

Joseph V. MELILLO was Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)’s executive producer from 1999 through 2018 and oversaw the 2019 Winter/Spring artistic season. BAM is a multi-arts center located in Brooklyn, New York with 150-year history.

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Speaker

Johnny KU

Dr. Yu-Chung John KU is the Music Director of Taipei Philharmonic Foundation. He is an active conductor and choral expert. Taipei Philharmonic Foundation for Culture and Education was founded by a group of music-loving industrialists and musicians in order to promote musical activities and to further raise the cultural standards of Taiwan.

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Speaker

Phloeun PRIM

Phloeun PRIM has spearheaded Cambodian Living Arts (CLA)’ transformation from a grassroots project reviving traditional art forms to a leading cultural organization in Cambodia and the Mekong region. He joined CLA in 2009 and is currently the Executive Director. CLA is an independent non-profit organization based in Cambodia with a mission to facilitate the transformation of Cambodia through the arts.

More about Phloeun PRIM

PERFORMING ARTS PANEL 25. Dealing with the Impact of a Global Crisis

The performing arts has been one of the sectors most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic across the world. We are convening the presenters of Bangsokol to share the current situation in their countries and explore how the pandemic is affecting the current and future possibilities of presenting international work. Learn more about the impact, solutions and strategies from the presenters of Bangsokol: ArtsEmerson (Boston), Philharmonie de Paris (France), National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Taiwan), moderated by Bill Bragin (NYUAD Arts Center).

This Festival event is contributing to the HowlRound Theatre Commons — a free and open platform for theatremakers worldwide.

Broadcasting Live: Thu 17 Dec 8am ICT / Wed 16 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Thu 17 Dec 9:30am ICT / Wed 16 Dec 9:30pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Bill BRAGIN

Called “one of the most influential figures in the New York live-music business” by The New York Times, Bill BRAGIN is a co-founder of globalFEST and was director of public programming of NY’s Lincoln Center from 2008-2014. He is the first executive artistic director of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a vibrant laboratory for performance that both presents and develops work.

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Speaker

CHIEN Wen Pin (TBC)

CHIEN Wen Pin is a Taiwanese notable classical conductor. He used to serve as the principal guest conductor and music director of Taiwan's National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) and is now the General and Artistic Director of the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying). Weiwuying opened in 2018 and brings local as well as international talents to southern Taiwan.

More about CHIEN Wen Pin (TBC)

Speaker

Emmanuel HONDRÉ

Emmanuel HONDRÉ is a doctor of musicology and winner of four first prizes at the Conservatoire National de Musique et de Danse de Paris (history of music, aesthetics, pedagogy, and musicology). He currently directs the Department of concerts and spectacles at the Philharmonie de Paris. The Philharmonie de Paris is a complex of concert halls in Paris, France.

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Speaker

David HOWSE

Named one the 100 most influential people in Boston, David C. HOWSE is a recognized speaker and commentator on the arts and social integration, and for over a decade has been a leader in the arts and culture sector. In his role as Senior Associate Vice President of Emerson College and Executive Director of ArtsEmerson, Howse co-leads Emerson College's multi-faceted Office of the Arts. ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre.

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GRAND FINALE6. Art, Healing & Hope: Creative Resilience

For the Festival finale, artists who were part of the Bangsokol production will present new works created exclusively for the virtual festival. Musicians and singers from five countries—Metropolis Ensemble (with Sandbox Percussion) composer Vivian Fung (USA), Taipei Philharmonic (Taiwan), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory (Singapore), Yuko Tomonaga (Australia) and Krom Dontrey Bangsokol (Cambodia)—will reinterpret music inspired by the different themes of Bangsokol, followed by a dance ritual created and performed by contemporary dancer-choreographer, Chumvan ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy (Cambodia) and featuring participation from the public. Following the performance, we will conclude with a talk featuring the next generation of artists Vivian Fung, “Belle” and David Loke, moderated by Carol Becker (Columbia University School of the Arts).

Broadcasting Live: Sat 19 Dec 8am ICT / Fri 18 Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: From Sat 19 Dec 9:30am ICT / Fri 18 Dec 9:30pm EST until Mon 21 Dec 12pm ICT / Mon 21 Dec 12am EST
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Moderator

Carol BECKER

Carol BECKER is Professor of the Arts and Dean of Columbia University School of the Arts. With research interests that range from feminist theory, American cultural history, art, artists, and social responsibility, to South African art and politics. She has published numerous articles and books on cultural criticism and the role of artists in society. Her most recent books are Thinking in Place: Art, Action and Cultural Production and her memoir Losing Helen: An Essay.

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Speaker

David LOKE

David LOKE Kai Yuan is an active performer and composer based in Singapore. He is an Artist Fellow at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music and also an active member of the musical group the Lorong Boys. The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, a school of the National University of Singapore, is Singapore's first conservatory of music.

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Speaker

Vivian FUNG

Juno Award-winning composer Vivian FUNG has a unique talent for combining idiosyncratic textures and styles into large-scale works, reflecting her multicultural background. “One of today’s most eclectic composers” (NPR), she has a deep interest in exploring cultures and is passionate about fostering the talent of the next generation.

More about Vivian FUNG

Speaker

CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy

CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy is a dancer/choreographer of Amrita Performing Arts, a contemporary dance and producing organization from Cambodia. Trained in Cambodian classical dance, Belle has participated in numerous contemporary dance workshops and residencies around the world. Currently, she is a dance lecturer at RUFA’s Faculty of Choreographic Arts.

More about CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy

GRAND FINALE7. Writing the Next Chapter

To conclude the festival, join the live discussion between the festival organisers Phloeun Prim (Cambodian Living Arts), Susan Chinsen (ArtsEmerson) and artist Chumvan ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy moderated by Jean-Baptiste Phou. The panel will reflect on the importance of ritual, arts and healing and we invite the audience to share their experiences of joining this experiment of creating contemporary rituals, in a virtual setting. Interact with the panelists, share your questions and see the result of #artshealing2020.

Broadcasting Live: Sun 20th Dec 8am ICT / Sat 19th Dec 8pm EST Video On Demand: N/A
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Moderator

Jean-Baptiste PHOU

Jean-Baptiste PHOU was born in France to Chinese-Cambodian parents. He worked as an actor, playwright and stage director in France, the US and Cambodia. His productions include 'Cambodia, Here I Am' performed in both French and Khmer and 'The Anarchist', adapted from the novel by Soth Polin. He worked for Cambodian Living Arts from 2017 to 2020 as Country Manager and Head of Creatives Programs.

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Speaker

Susan CHINSEN

Susan Chinsen was raised in the Greater Boston area and graduated from Tufts University where she majored in American Studies with a focus on Media and Asian Americans. She is the establishing Director of the Boston Asian American Film Festival and also a Creative Producer at ArtsEmerson. ArtsEmerson is Boston’s leading presenter of contemporary world theatre.

More about Susan CHINSEN

Speaker

CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy

CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy is a dancer/choreographer of Amrita Performing Arts, a contemporary dance and producing organization from Cambodia. Trained in Cambodian classical dance, Belle has participated in numerous contemporary dance workshops and residencies around the world. Currently, she is a dance lecturer at RUFA’s Faculty of Choreographic Arts.

More about CHUMVAN ‘Belle’ Sodhachivy

Speaker

Phloeun PRIM

Phloeun PRIM has spearheaded Cambodian Living Arts (CLA)’ transformation from a grassroots project reviving traditional art forms to a leading cultural organization in Cambodia and the Mekong region. He joined CLA in 2009 and is currently the Executive Director. CLA is an independent non-profit organization based in Cambodia with a mission to facilitate the transformation of Cambodia through the arts.

More about Phloeun PRIM

Organised By

Cambodia Living Arts ArtsEmerson

With Support From

Ministry of Culture of Taiwan

In Partnership With

Taipei Philharmonic Foundation Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Bophana Center The Office HowlRound Him Sophy School of Music

With The Participation Of

National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) Philharmonic de Paris SilverBell Arts Centre Melbourne Brooklyn Academy of Music Metropolis Ensemble

Festival team

Festival Curator

Jean-Baptiste PHOU

General Supervisor

Frances RUDGARD (CLA)

Creative Producer

Susan CHINSEN (ArtsEmerson)

Executive Producer

Phloeun PRIM (CLA)

Technical Coordinator

ROEUN Rina (CLA)

Festival Coordinator

JAN Yi-Fen

Technical Advisor

Vijay MATHEW (Howlround Theatre Commons)

Graphic Design

TAN Vatey and CHOEUN Socheata (CLA)

Video Editing

THON Dika (CLA)

Web Development

Lee Nutter

Cambodian Living Arts wishes to thank both ArtsEmerson and Howlround Theatre Commons, located in Boston MA, for their support.

New Works

New Music

Coming soon!

Dance Ritual

Coming soon!