The Call

An uplifting evening of creativity, music and dance

A group of young Cambodian woman enter a place where music is sanctified, yet forbidden for them to perform. Will they conform to the norms or respond to the call of their hearts?

Wednesday / Friday / Sunday | from 8pm to 9pm
Bambu Stage, Siem Reap

SYNOPSIS

At the opening of a museum to honor Cambodian musical instruments, dancers perform the traditional blessing dance Chun Po. A group of young women enter and explore. One picks up the Khmer tro, the Cambodian violin, and performs a beautiful Mohaori lullaby.

Other women approach drums – an instrument traditionally placed my men only. But the call of the heart is stronger and the young women grab the drums, before being caught by employees of the museum. But no need to panic, the employees sympathize with the young women and encourage them to continue!

Together, they dance and sing a medley of popular songs, Rouam Vong and Saravan. But there are other instruments to try out! Using the kong (gong), roneat (xylophone), samphos and sangna drums, they perform the new melody Beauty of Angkor (creation). One of the members, having been excluded from the group, takes revenge by stealing a drum. The one from whom she takes the drum  expresses her dismay through a contemporary dance accompanied by Smot chanting, Inner Strength. She calls on her friends to dance Buong Suong, asking for the help and blessings of the spirits before claiming back the instrument.

The young women build force and courage in response to the powerful horns and drums, and prepare for battle with new creation Rain and Thunder (creation). An epic fight begins; but ultimately violence is not the answer – the victors hold out their hand to the defeated and offer peace.

In the spirit of solidarity, they sing and dance new piece Play with Me , followed by their original song Six Women, which expresses their place in society as women. They continue to honor their friendship with the new song Come Together. Next, they perform chayyam, a popular form traditionally reserved for men, in a song called I Can.

We finish with a powerful drum ensemble. The Museum announces that it will close its doors and the group returns each instrument to its place. But before leaving, they take their own picture and hang it alongside the portraits of musicians on the museum’s wall.

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