During the repressive regime of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979, 90 percent of Cambodia’s artists were killed or fled the genocide that left 2 million of their countrymen dead and a nation in shambles.
Tens of thousands of refugees made their way to Lowell, thankful they had escaped with their lives and had a new home, but eager to hold onto the traditions and culture of their homeland.
One of those new Lowellians, Tim Chan Thou, founded the Angkor Dance Troupe in 1986.
Over the last 25 years, the troupe has become a connection to their Cambodian heritage for those who fled from Southeast Asia, as well as those young Cambodian-Americans born here. At the same time, it has been a tool through which to communicate a level of understanding about Cambodian culture and art to members of the city’s other ethnic groups.
To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the troupe is putting on a grand production at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium on October 27.
“Aspara Dancing Stones,” is a contemporary dance drama mixing modern and traditional Cambodian dance, created by Angkor Dance Troupe Artistic Director Master Phousita Huy.
It is a big undertaking and the troupe needs some help to make it a reality. They have set up a Kickstarter page to raise funds. If they do not meet their $5000 goal, the cause receives no funding and donors will not be charged.
The Kickstarter page can be found here:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/angkordancetroupe/aspara-dancing-stones