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First Person: Prumsodun Ok–OF LAND AND SKY (LA)

New Original Works Festival
August 2 – 4

Prumsodun Ok and Joyce Lu in performance

Known for his fearless reinterpretations of classical Cambodian dance, choreographer and performer Promsodum Ok brings his latest ensemble work to the 2012 REDCAT N.O.W. Festival. Of Land and Sky is a layered, trans-temporal vision of a traditional tale of an earth-bound deity who has fallen in love with a mortal, and thus fallen out of favor with her father the Sky King. At once celebrating the stripped down beauty of traditional Khmer dance while invigorating its formalities with unusual casting, costuming and sound sculpture, Ok achieves a contemporary feeling in the performance without becoming enmeshed in hollow post-modern gestures.

For a riveting interview of the artist, please watch this video produced by the festival:

Ok shared the bill with Jenku Kim, who has produced an impressive untitled multichannel video and sound installation and Nick+James dance company, who create a rippling interrogation of the myth of Narcissus by salvaging and repurposing movement vocabularies from other choreographers across their dance careers.

The NOW Festival is currently in its 9th year of presenting cutting edge performance works in Los Angeles. Renown for providing a venue for local artists, the REDCAT is also a cherished presenter of experimental international theater and dance works. The 2012 edition of the festival enters its third week with works from Emily Mast, Melanie Rios, and Heather Woodbury. It continues through August 11. Tickets are available at

About Prumsodun Ok
PRUMSODUN OK is guided by love. He works to positively transform our world through his practice as an artist, teacher, storyteller, and idea generator. His interdisciplinary performances contemplate Rene Daumal’s expression of “the avant-garde in antiquity,” mining the tradition of Cambodian classical dance to explore the intersection of contemporary social issues with new possibilities for performance. Prum has presented his work at REDCAT, Highways, KUNST-STOFF arts/fest, CounterPULSE’s Performing Diaspora, and Pieter among others. His writings have been published by the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA),, LA Stage Times, In Dance Magazine and featured by the California Dance Network. Among many honors, Prum is a TED Fellow, a Master Artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program, an Association of Performing Arts Presenters Artist Fellow, and a mentee to Oguri through the Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange Grant. Currently, he is Associate Artistic Director of Khmer Arts and serves on ACTA’s board. His projects in progress include an innovative book titled Ream Eyso and Moni Mekhala, a “musical” titled Stripped (100 Love Songs) to be performed in Cambodian dance ritual, and the Sala Center for Art and Culture. To be based in central Long Beach—a most impoverished and culturally dynamic area of the city—Sala will provide a platform for traditional performing artists to inspire young leaders, nurture healthy communities, and redefine the landscape of art and culture.

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I am the Master Conduit at Vita Vibrare, an arts in action consultancy. I make work that seeks to instigate political awareness, social change and cultural exchange. I like to do this in a way that is joyful, engaging and just plain fun.

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