Tent Village - J4 Esplanade
Snow is falling on stage, unless it’s pozzolan, or fine sand…no, it’s rice, omnipresent in the day-to-day life and the imagination of the Cambodian people. Here rice is a scenographic element of L'Or Blanc [White Gold] and symbolic material in the story of a character in search for social progress and material enrichment’s initiatic journey. First, the character abandons his family and his wealth and chooses poverty in order to understand suffering; then, throughout his journey, he learns more about abundance as well as the corresponding alienation, dependence upon others, and conflicts.
His disillusion will be immense, but it will be the start of a relection on his relationship with the world. The framework of L'Or Blanc is inspired by elements taken from the life of the Buddha, through the lens of Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha. Rice functions as a metaphoric image of abundance, of ownership, and of saving money. Inescapable in Cambodia, it also appears in the show because its different facets, varieties, uses, and appearances favor an inventive scenography, as much acrobatic as it is graphic, musical, and choreographic.
Stage direction Bonthoeun HOUN
Direction collaboration Julien CLEMENT, Agathe OLIVIER, Molly SAUDEK
Production Xavier GOBIN
Musical composition Chantha NORNG
Artists Sophea CHEA, Vanny CHHOEUM, Sopheak HOUN, Kimlon KHUON, Tida KONG, Viban KONG, Sreynoch VOEUN
Musicians Chantha NORNG, Pitou PEOU
Painter (alternately) Sereysokun HENG, Piset PAT
Co-production Phare Ponleu Selpak, Phare Perfroming Social Enterprise, Productions Hors Jeu
Distribution Temal Productions
“The pared down scenography, the choreographed scenes, mixed with spectacular physical exploits, make this piece an explosive show” La Marseillaise about a previous show, Eclipse - 2015
“Phare is no ordinary circus, but an edgy, alternative, down-to-earth, all-singing-and-dancing Cambodian circus in the tradition of Cirque du Soleil” CNN Travel
“The performers’ enthusiasm is infectious, and with plenty of comedic relief and audience interaction, the crowd stays riveted until the very end of the show." South East Asia Globe
Phare Circus is a socially progressive company that was founded in 2012 in order to develop employment opportunities for artists, to ensure the financial autonomy of the Phare training center in Battambang, and to revitalize and promote artistic creation in Cambodia. Its originality largely comes from its passionate investment in its performers, who have often lived experiences similar to those that appear in their shows: economic exodus, discrimination, domestic violence, civil war trauma, cultural confrontations, abuse of power, mystical beliefs… Emotion is sparked in the spectator, who witnesses optimism and resilience through every hardship and in the face of adversity, and the triumph of the soul over negativity. The artists’ energy is brutal and punchy, but it is also generous and authentic, and reflects the dynamism and hope that allowed them to leave poverty behind.