The academy was begun by renowned choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, who now lives in Cambodia. Shapiro returned to Long Beach this week to celebrate the studio’s anniversary, by coordinating some of Khmer classical dance’s oldest stories.
Performers at the Khmer Arts Academy on Tuesday began rehearsing the classic tale of Mony Mekhola, a goddess whose glass ball represents knowledge and conjures lightning, and Ream Eyso, a god whose axe brings thunder. By calling on them both, mortals are able to ask for rain. VOA Khmer's Cheang Sophinarath reports from Long Beach, California.