Tini Tinou International Troupe line-up – PART ONE

By Emily Martin

This year is the first year since 2010 we’ve had the ability to invite international circus troupes to participate and perform in the Tini Tinou Circus Festival – helping it regain its ‘international’ status. This couldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors and partners, who we would like to thank:

  • ANZ Royal
  • Smart
  • Cambodia Airports
  • Total
  • Institut Francais of Phnom Penh
  • Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts

Over the month of March we’re excited to introduce the talented and diverse troupes coming to Cambodia from across the globe.

Get excited… it’s going to be dazzling!


First up are the talented circus artists and troupes from The National Circus School of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, and O Ultimo Momento from France…

National Circus School of Cambodia – PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA

Circus has a long history in its origins of Khmer traditional art, dating as far back as the pre-Angkorian era. The National Circus School of Cambodia (NCSOC) has helped revive and develop this ancient art-form in Cambodia – fostering the more modern circus talent and helping bring back a lost art.

NCSOC, is a two-part organisation, consisting of a school that trains circus performers, as well as a performing acrobatic troop.

The school was established in 1980 by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, accepting 45 students in its first year, most of whom were children who had lost their parents during the Khmer Rouge period.

This first class was taught by Vietnamese and Russian teachers, with ten of these students continuing their training in Russia. The remaining 35 students continued training and performing locally in Phnom Penh. They are now teachers themselves – passing on their craft to the next generation of Cambodian circus artists.

The NCSOC artists have recently found increased popularity by performing on Cambodia’s Got Talent, where three acts made it through to the finale and one group made the top 3.  The members of the current troupe have also been sought out to head other artistic groups such as Norton University’s Cheerleaders.

The circus school has a working relationship with the Phare family and has continuously been a part of the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival.

The Vietnamese Government, artists and teachers have continued to support this troupe – even providing a fully functional circus Big Top with 1000 audience seats which opened in 2012. It is this circus tent which will hold the first performances of the 2015 Tini Tinou International Circus Festival.

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O Ultimo Momento – FRANCE

O Ultimo Momento was founded in 2004 by Joao Paulo Dos Santos, a Portuguese circus performer and Guillaume Dutrieux a French musician. The men met at an artistic collective celebrating the 15th year of the Centre National des Arts du Cirque.

The company, based in France, consistently travels throughout Europe as well as extending its reach to the rest of the world. It has toured Asia, North America and South Africa – now it will come to Cambodia.

O Ultimo Momento mainly focuses on the discipline of Chinese Mast, a specialty of Joao Paulo Dos Sants, but also works in other artistic fields, such as video.

João Paulo Dos Santos is considered a forerunner in the field of local contemporary circus, his experience and his training mostly acquired in France has helped promote an art and discipline still relatively unknown in Portugal.

The company continues to perform 3 long-form creations; Maybe (2005), Contigo (2006) and ‘ Throw Up ‘, created in 2010 and re-created in 2012 under the title “What Remains” by the loss of the scenography.

The show which O Ultimo Momento will present in Cambodia features just two artists – Ce qui reste.

Two men are sharing a territory, each one with its strengths, weaknesses and bodies. One of them could be the reflection of the other, is he real or the product of our imagination?

“Ce qui reste…” is what remains from the show “À deux pas de là-­‐haut”, which took its inspiration on a novel “The lost mariner”, from the Oliver Sack’s book “The man who took his wife for a hat”.

A man who…   

A man who slips on the absurdity of events

A man who tries to remember the perfume of a memory
A man who fears the vision of his shadow
A man who is looking for the meaning of his existence
Laughable hope of a disoriented man 

“Ce qui reste…” goes beyond the Chinese pole…

Thus, dance, acrobatics, wood pole, music and video intertwine harmoniously.

Tini Tinou International Circus Festival is able to host O Ultimo Momento troupe thanks to the long-lasting partnership with the Institut Francais of Phnom Penh. The latter facilitates and financially supports the coming of the French troupe. We wouldn’t be able to welcome O Ultimo Momento without their help!

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