You’ve met the French duo, O Ultimo Momento and learnt about the National Circus School of Cambodia… now let us introduce Formosa Circus Arts (FOCA) from Taiwan and of course the Phare troupe.
Formosa Circus Arts, FOCA – TAIWAN
The company, originally called MIX Acrobatics Theatre, was founded 4 years ago and has performed in many various places across Taiwan and abroad (Europe, Asia). In 2014 they decided to change their name to one that proudly supports Taiwan – Formosa, the name of their beautiful island.
With their name and roots coming from Taiwan, they have set their eyes towards the whole world, using their bodies to express themselves they wish to be able to shout the name of their origins on stages all over the world: “Formosa, Taiwan!”
The members of Formosa Circus Arts- FOCA come from different artistic worlds including: acrobatics, stunt, dance and theatre. They combine all these arts to create a new style of performance, while keeping in mind to develop modern circus and actively promote Circus culture in Taiwan.
Since the beginning Formosa has combined traditional and modern elements of dance, acrobatics, street culture and theatrical works. Without the limitations of using strictly traditional forms they are constantly trying new creative ways and creating new concepts to develop a unique physical language and an original vision.
“We then enjoy these infinite possibilities with a sincere and a professional attitude to attract the audience and explore the relationship between the performers and the public.”
Through exchanges with other Taiwanese or foreign troupes, FOCA always actively promotes Taiwan culture, and expects also to learn from such exchanges to bring back more diversity to Taiwan performing arts and circus acrobatics.
Phare, The Cambodian Circus – CAMBODIA
The Phare Ponleu Selpak Association (PPSA) was set up 20 years ago and focuses on transforming the lives of underprivileged children though art, education and social support. The famous circus school was set up as part of this and now produces impressive and talented circus troupes who perform nightly in Siem Reap, Battambang, throughout Cambodia in private events and across the globe.
It is a unique and exciting opportunity for artists from the different levels to perform on the same platform. The students performing in Tchamleak are the youngest to grace the stage while the artists in Sokha have graduated from the school and are performing at a professional level.
The shows all touch on different social realities and cultural aspects of Cambodia and its people. From discrimination, to the Khmer’s fears of ghosts and spirits, the audience will take a lot out of any performance they see.
The story Sokha is an especially important one to tell. It’s a powerful metaphor about the creation of Phare Ponleu Selpak, The Brightness of Art, which was founded by 8 young refuges from the Khmer Rouge. They received art therapy from a French volunteer in the refugee camps and it helped them so much to overcome their trauma that they wanted to share it with as many people as possible. When they returned home they set about starting a school to share the gift of art.
The show brings together an incredible fusion of circus skills, live painting and original music. It follows the character Sokha, a young Cambodian girl, throughout the years before the Pol Pot Regime, during and after. The show is riveting, heart-wrenching and beautiful. It clearly shows and educates about Cambodia’s past in a transformative and enlightening way.
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