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A one night-only world premiere performance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Angkor Dance Troupe in Lowell, MA. Read more

Lowell, MA Dance
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This project was successfully funded on October 26, 2012.

A one night-only world premiere performance celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Angkor Dance Troupe in Lowell, MA.

Lowell, MA Dance
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About this project

Celebrating 25 years, the Angkor Dance Troupe presents the premiere of Apsara Dancing Stones, a contemporary dance drama that embodies the beauty and culture of Cambodia. With Eastern and Western influences, this visual narrative combines an unparalleled performance of dance and music from modern and classical Cambodian styles.

Celebrating 25 Years

Angkor Dance Troupe is celebrating 25 years in 2012 and we’re doing it in grand fashion; by putting on our biggest show yet! Apsara Dancing Stones will premiere at the historic Lowell Memorial Auditorium on October 27, 2012.

Apsara Dancing Stones is a never before seen world premiere production created by Angkor Dance Troupe's artistic director, Master Phousita Huy, an internationally recognized performer and instructor of Cambodian classical dance.

Through the eyes of the Khmer deity Apsara, the story unfolds with the birth of Cambodia's golden era of Gods and Goddesses and then moves into the dark age of war and destruction. The story concludes with the rebirth of Khmer culture and the reaffirmation of the Apsara's power as a symbol of peace, reverence and unity.

Younger dancers preparing for the Apsara Dancing Stones Pre-Show
Younger dancers preparing for the Apsara Dancing Stones Pre-Show

Our Story

Between 1975 and 1979, when Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge controlled Cambodia, 90% of the country's artists perished or fled. More than 2 million people were killed during that time period. Survivors fled to refugee camps in Thailand, Vietnam, and other neighboring countries. One of those survivors was Tim Chan Thou. Tim learned traditional Cambodian dance while in a refugee camp. From there, Tim made his way to the United States in 1980.

Tim settled in Lowell, Massachusetts along with tens of thousands of other Cambodians. Lowell became a sanctuary to a people searching for a new home, escaping the horrors of the Khmer Rouge. He brought with him to the United States a strong desire to practice and perform Cambodian dance, a passion to teach others, and preserve a culture that was almost completely destroyed.

Angkor Dance Troupe in 1986
Angkor Dance Troupe in 1986

In 1986, Tim founded the Angkor Dance Troupe. The focus of the Troupe was to preserve Cambodian culture in Lowell, and provide opportunity for young people to learn about their culture and history.

Now, 25 years later, there are 30,000 Cambodians living in Lowell, and the Troupe is registered 501 (c) 3 nonprofit that provides an essential service to the community. The Troupe is the only nonprofit cultural group in the City whose sole mission is to preserve the traditions of Cambodian performing arts. The Angkor Dance Troupe develops and teaches Cambodian dance, promotes an understanding and appreciation of Cambodian culture, and provides a positive social and educational outlet for Cambodian youth.

Angkor Dance Troupe performs at 2011 Lowell Folk Festival
Angkor Dance Troupe performs at 2011 Lowell Folk Festival

Why we need your help

The Angkor Dance Troupe needs your help to complete production of this ambitious world premiere show.  As a small nonprofit organization, we rely on the generous support of our backers to help create and stage performances like Apsara Dancing Stones.  Funding would go towards production costs to stage the performance at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium, including support for dancers, teachers, music, outreach, and other associated costs.

As with every Kickstarter project, Angkor Dance Troupe must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands. To be clear, if the Troupe doesn't meet their funding goal, your account will not be charged.

Angkor Dancers at Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival
Angkor Dancers at Lowell Southeast Asian Water Festival

Risks and challenges

Apsara Dancing Stones has never been staged before, and every world premiere production is a risk. The scale of the show is larger than previous Angkor Dance Troupe performances. Most of the work towards this effort has been conducted by a dedicated staff of volunteers and as a small nonprofit organization there is never a lot of room for error. However, after 25 years of preserving and enriching Cambodian classical arts and traditions in the United States, the Angkor Dance Troupe is confident that, with your help, we can produce this world premiere show to help continue our mission and ensure future generations are as inspired by the power of Cambodian dance.

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    Online thank you for your support via a personalized facebook or twitter shoutout!

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    Exclusive digital download photo of the show cast.

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    An exclusive digital album of the show cast.

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    An exclusive digital album of the show and 8 x 11 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast.

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    An exclusive digital album of the show and 11 x 17 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast and will receive a limited edition 25th Anniversary Angkor Dance Troupe T-Shirt.

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    11 x 17 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast and Angkor Dance Troupe Gift Package (featuring Cambodian scarf, ADT postcard, and wristband).

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    *2 Ticket for Dinner & Show, 11 x 17 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast and a limited edition Angkor Dance Troupe 25th Anniversary T-Shirt!

    (Tickets will be reserved and available for pick up at the box office at Lowell Memorial Auditorium.)

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    *4 Tickets for Dinner & Show, 11 x 17 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast and Angkor Dance Troupe Gift Package.

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    10 Tickets for Dinner & Show (Table), VIP Pass to Meet & Greet with Principal Dancers,11 x 17 Apsara Dancing Stones poster signed by the cast and Angkor Dance Troupe Gift Package.

    (Tickets will be reserved and available for pick up at the box office at Lowell Memorial Auditorium).

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Funding period

- (19 days)