October 31, 2012
Midterm Paper of Workshop’s Reflection
A couple weeks ago, the Khmer Arts Academy was invited to UCLA and came to our dance class. The main theme showcased during that workshop with Mrs. Sophiline Cheam Shapiro was to show us of the traditional Cambodian classical dance with contemporary element and content. She showed us some of Khmer dances and the basics of elementary hands gestures, foot movements, transitions, bending, head movements, closed-peaceful smile and some traditional movements. The workshop was going well by bring us with the four great well-trained dancers and a high-performed class teacher, Miss Kethcha. The dancers presented themselves in well-known and beautiful Khmer costumes and they are very talented and professional. The students in the class were consisted to watch and observe the dancers performing in various dances as well as participating and learning from them by giving some comments and ideas after each performance.
First of all, the class was started by asking all the participated students warming up all together with some elements of hands, foot, chest and head and also corrected by the dancers. They also showed us how to stand in female and male positions as well. In addition, the main teacher and dancers gave us more advices about how to bending hands, crossing legs, and knees, etc.
The main teacher, Mrs. Sophiline introduced herself along with her training dancers as well. Every dancer performs in different characters and dance styles. In addition, every performance was telling us about various stories and characters of dancers. The gesture movements also telling us the detailed story what happening. Each time after the dancers finished performance, the main teacher introduced us of the dancers’ background in Cambodia as well as in United State. What we learned was not only the dancers, we also learned and understood about the background of our teacher as well.
The important things that we learned from that workshop were that every gesture of movement means differently. For instance, we learned how to place the hands for “today”, “I”, “cry”, “love” and “happy”. The three female dancers were danced in various characters such as a lady, a man, and a giant. Their dances were different, special and unique. The lady character was dancing so soft and beautiful as a virgin girl moving slowly, gently, gracefully and delicately. And the male character was dancing with bigger and wider movements, but looked so beautiful and fantastic. The third dancer, she performed as a giant with a stronger standing position which moving bigger, wider and stronger movements than other two. The dancers usually are female and perform in male character as well.
Our teacher, Miss. Kethcha and a male dancer, Mr. Prom, performed the first dance. She danced so amazing in a female style with different face expression. Every gesture movement told us in different meaning of story. The male style was also impressed with flirting dance. They both perform very well and unison as well for every movement that making the students feeling excited to watch. The next dancer performed in the story of Neang Neak who has a long and heavy