There was a buzz around campus in the lead up to the PPS Open Days. All week, students were rehearsing, preparing and setting up to present their work. The excitement was palpable as staff and students worked late into the night to be ready.
On July 3rd 2015, we opened our doors to present two huge days of student work. Over 800 people came to PPS Open Days to learn about PPS, see performing arts presentations and experience a broad range of visual artwork.
His Excellency… officially opened the event with a speech to the community of PPS. Next, a special show was presented under the big top. Senior students in dance, music and circus stunned the crowd with their skill and poise. The children from the kindergarten, aged 3-5 years, also performed a song, warming the hearts of everyone in the room with their big smiles and tiny bow-ties. Finally, animation films made by the students from the Visual Art School were screened.
The Open Days were an opportunity for the public to see the state of the art training at Phare Ponleu Selpak. Students who are interested in a rewarding career in visual or performing arts came along to questions of teachers and register for training in the 2015-16 school year.
Since its beginning more than 20 years ago, Phare Ponleu Selpak has produced some of Cambodia’s finest artists. Many graduates have exhibited artwork, performed shows or worked as teachers internationally, including in France, Germany, the Philippines and Indonesia.
Phare Ponleu Selpak not only provides excellent training to students, it also seeks professional opportunities for graduates. Performing artists can go on to work at Phare the Cambodian Circus, while visual artists have the opportunity to be hired by the professional Phare Graphic Design and Animation Studio.
Phare Ponleu Selpak is committed to helping rebuild the arts industry in Cambodia by providing professional pathways. The professional artists working at Phare the Cambodian Circus in Siem Reap, for example, earn 3-5 times the average wage in Cambodia.
Although the PPS students start from humble beginnings, they are already making incredible work. Their hard work and talent was obvious during the Open Days. The next generation of Cambodian artists is on its way!