The Sacred Centre Dance Company presents Samsara at the McPherson Playhouse, Saturday September 7, 2013.
I first heard of founder Nath Keo in the 2000s when he had a small dance studio in a heritage home on Fort Street. Later, I was re-acquainted with his work when he presented at the Light on Our Feet fundraiser organized by Holly Vivian.
Join Nath and his team of dancers for Samsara, Saturday September 7th at the McPherson Playhouse.
Inspired by choreographer Nath Keo’s year as a Buddhist monk in Cambodia, this unique choreography explores the cycles of birth, love, sickness, suffering, death and re-birth as understood through Buddhism. In his most personal work to date, Nath Keo showcases a fusion of Bellydance, Cambodian classical and folk dance, Cambodian martial arts, and meditation mudras.
Sacred Centre Dance Studio opened in 2010, but I seem to remember that you had a small teaching studio in a heritage home on Fort Street in the early 2000s. How has your style changed since then?
I miss my first dance space very much. It was on the top floor in a heritage building, small but intimate. I didn’t conduct many classes there as we were limited for space, but it allowed me a nurturing environment to work on my craft. Comparing my work nowadays to what I had presented back then, I would say I feel less pressure to limit my choreographies to traditionally based pieces. Much of my work now is a fusion, inspired from multiple disciplines.
Will it only be the dancers featured on your website who perform in the show?
There are 9 members in the Sacred Centre Dance Company including myself and its been pretty much all the same team for our 3rd production ina row now.
You spent a year in a monastery – when?
I was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk back in February 2006 and spent the following year living in 2 monastries in my home country, Cambodia. The first part of my journey was in the southern province of Prey Veng, and the second part, right in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Who do you feel is your ideal audience member?
I am very grateful and fortunate that over the years, my work with Sacred Centre has earned us a small following. We continue to perform for the bellydance community. “Samsara” could appeal to any audience member that is interested in dance, ethnic music, and Buddhist philosophy.
What are you using for music? Is it created especially for the show?
The music used in this show have been a collection from various artists from all over the world. However, none are original recordings for any of the choreographies.
Regarding students of Sacred Centre Dance Studio– do they span the ages and stages of life, or is there one particular type of person who seems drawn to start learning?
The students at Sacred Centre seem to have only one thing in common.. they like to laugh! Sometimes its someone who has always been curious to try and finally found the courage after seeing us perform. Sometimes they have been practising bellydance for many years and already have a solid foundation and are looking for variation. But most of the time, it has been by word of mouth.
I see from your website that you are teaching at a “Soul of Fusion” event in Georgia in the fall. How is the fusion movement represented in Canada – do you have many peers? Locally?
Of the many events I am hired to instruct and/or perform at each year, both regionally and internationally, its becoming more frequent that I am specifically requested to conduct a workshop in this fusion style. In Canada, specifically in the bellydance communities, there is as much movement in the fusion category as there are traditional. Every community I have travelled to that has a bellydance following will have pretty much an equal number of participants to practice what we call “Tribal Fusion” style bellydance. Here in Victoria I highly commend Candace Aldridge Sanchez of Harmony Bellydance for her Tribal Fusion work. She herself now has also taken her work to international stages.
Samsara, by the Sacred Centre Dance Company
Saturday September 7th, 2013, 8pm
Tickets $23 online or in person at the box office
Disclaimer: I will be attending Samsara as a guest of Sacred Centre Dance Company.