Tuesday, May 29, 2012

CLA to increase shows

Had a chat with Cambodian Living Arts today about the Children of Bassac performances that were held once a week at the National Museum in the tourist high season but which have gone into hibernation until October, when they are scheduled to kick-off again. CLA are looking to increase the number of shows to between 3 and 6 nights per week, still at the Museum for the atmosphere, and may include other groups as well as the excellent Children of Bassac. They are really keen on including a yike group, who perform dance drama, amongst their line-up in the next series of shows. Certainly the combination of apsara and folk dances worked well with the Children of Bassac last year giving visitors a good blend of differing styles, but a key task for CLA is to make the shows self-sustaining and to provide enough funds to be able to pay the performers. Phnom Penh is ill-served by regular cultural performances (Sovanna Phum and Apsara Arts comes to mind and then I'm scratching my head), so a much more regular, and high quality show, from CLA would be very welcome, as long as it's pitched at a price to suit the average budget. We shall see what develops in the lead up to the next tourist high season.

Don't forget the launch of the Lonely Planet Cambodia guidebook at Monument Books at 6pm this coming Thursday. The authors of the new edition will be there to let you in on a few in-house secrets such as who gets included and why, and who gets the elbow from the guidebook before it's sent to the bookshops. It's already on sale in Monument if you need to get your copy.

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