All changed in Kampot this January. My boyfriend who I was living blissfully with here had to rush home to Scotland because of his sick Grandmother. This meant in two hours we woke up to a message, he packed all of his stuff up and was gone. So after a couple of days feeling rather sorry for myself, I realised it’s not the end of the world and have been enjoying girly fun and lots of yoga here in the sun. And decided to make the best of a bad situation. Think girly cocktails with our feet in the sand; maybe not a bad situation after all anyway.
During this time I received the brief for the latest choreography I am to create; ‘Never Give Up’, which Epic plans to sell as a performance, allowing it to tour Cambodia and possibly further a field.
I had 7 days to do it. I also had to teach another group during this time. It’s been a busy ol’ week.
‘Never Give Up’ is about each member of the team’s personal stories, and I’m telling you if I was upset about my boyfriend leaving because his Granny was sick, these certainly put this into perspective.
Socheat has polio in both his legs preventing him from walking without crutches. He was very happy living with his family without discrimination. However his parents began to get older and sicker and therefore he needed to work. So he did what he knew how, and began begging the streets of Phnom Penh. Discrimination is prime in these sort of situations, however it is often argued that begging provides good income. Therefore, for those of you travelling Asia, it is recommended not to give money to beggars; it encourages them and keeps them on the streets.
Thou has polio in one arm, therefore she stayed at home all day every day seeing no-one and feeling lonely and isolated.
Sann and Seangly are deaf, and Teauly worked on a building site where he got electrocuted and lost both his legs from the knee down. After this people told him he should kill himself. There is a lot of discrimination about disability here, and mostly because of lack of knowledge or the Buddhist belief that disability comes from doing something wrong in a past life.
However as the title suggests, Teuly, and all the others, never gave up.
The first scene incorporates a lot of drama as well as dance, and show the dancers as children, and happy families. Then the next scene begins a drastically different way, beginning with a scene of begging and discrimination. I played a lot with direction of movement as well as repetition with building up speed and vigour of which it is delivered.
Then, we move on to a working scene, which personally is my favourite. I looked at Laban analysis to deliver the same exact movement (delivered in unison) with different tendencies. The music is very brash. Then it suddenly stops and Teauly screams. He then tries to build himself back up and the team support him, and together they are trying very hard, working and hot and struggling.
The next scene shows support. And there is a lot of contact and leaning on one another, and some beautiful movement if I do say so myself. With everyone on the floor, allowing a real feel of equality here.
And finally, the last scene is joy. All of the performers now work and help support themselves and their families, as well as touring internationally and nationally! So they are all very happy and have achieved a great amount, surpassing all expectation. The performance ‘Never Give Up’ really shows what you can do if you put your mind to it, and hopefully will spread the message to those treated unfairly due to their disability here. And to all of us.
ANYWAY thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed the pictures of the piece.