Artist-Led Workshops at Tini Tinou

Over the ten days of the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival, Cambodian and visiting artists led and attended workshops to share their skills. Body language and enthusiasm more than made up for the lack of a common language, though informal translators were on hand to help translate instructions into and between Khmer, English, Vietnamese, German, French and Chinese.

Taiwan’s Formosa Circus Arts led the first workshop in Phnom Penh, leading the group through a warmup then splitting the group into three and teaching diabolo, breakdancing, martial arts and king tut hand movements.

Switzerland’s Les Papillons taught the group rhythmic gymnastics and tumbling, ribbon, hoop and ball manipulation.

The artists from Phare, The Cambodian Circus taught juggling, rola bola, main a main and traditional Khmer Apsara dance. The musicians gave mini lessons on a khim, xylophone and bells, which led to impromptu jam sessions and ended in spontaneous performances by the Sokha artists accompanied by live music by the Sokha band.

Nadika Mohn and Schanika Mohn of Les Papillons say of the workshops: “It was something new for us. We’ve never learned things like this, like the acrobatics, it was something very new. It was also interesting to teach others without talking because we all spoke different languages. So we were using our hands and legs to show each other different things, and it worked. And all the different cultures, how they like to teach is also interesting. The Taiwanese were so organized and the Cambodians were just so happy to teach you, they never stopped trying to teach you.”

Read more about the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival here.

See photos from the event on our Facebook page.