dance cambodia

An exchange of art and culture which carries with it a message of peace and caring.

A WHOLE BIG change

Wednesday July 1st
Puglia, Southern Italy

Hello there,

Sorry it has been SO long since I last wrote.
Leaving Cambodia seems like a life time ago, and yet I also feel as if the whirl wind transition which took me back to Taipei for 1 night, to London for 1 night and then here to Southern Italy has given me NO time to process all the AMAZING things that happened there. All I know is that I am already planning a return trip.

So here we are – Renay, Laura and I in the middle of rural souther Italy in a region called Puglia, near Ostuni, in the heel of Italy. We are living in a place owned by Robert and Pia. They are both involved with theater, and they have a gorgeous place surrounded by olive groves, with an indoor studio, and outdoor stone amphitheatre and a large dance floor in an outdoor space next to a pond.
I have invited 15 dancers from all over Europe and the world to come and dance together in this idylic spot.

We start the day with 1/2 hour of meditation led by Pei Pei from Taiwan. Then breakfast, followed by yoga for 1 hr, and then a practice called Authentic movement which is almost like movement meditation. It’s very simple yet complex to explain right now. We do this outside in the nature with the 3 dogs running around, the sun beating down fairly strongly, so shady places are sought out. It’s a nice way to begin moving and takes place with one or more of the movers closing their eyes, while another ‘witness’ takes care they don’t encounter any danger during the 20 minutes they spend moving with eyes closed. There I have explained it a little.
Following this session we have lunch outside on a long table under the trees.

We take some hours siesta time, or going to the beach or to Ostuni to the internet (where I am now).
Around 6pm we start our evening dancing session outside on the big floor in nature. It’s cool enough by then to be dancing under the sky. Actually the weather has been strangely stormy with some rain which is most unusual for this time of year.

In a word we are having an incredible time together.

Mei and Ru-Hong (who were with us in Cambodia) are now in Hong Kong where Mei is performing a duet performance this week. What a small world we all inhabit now!

Here is a description that Simon Ellis wrote of our dance session the other night… Simon is one of the people who is with us this year. He came last year also to Syros, the island in Greece where we got together last year.
This is the fourth year we have gathered together in this way. It is a time for us to enjoy dancing and talking together. It’s a joy to be able to do this when most of us are very busy throughout the year teaching and trying to survive.

Here is Simon’s entry from his blog…..

I am sitting here watching solos and duets.
Anka and Laura are currently dancing. There is a dog close by.
The sun is going down.
Dorothy and Armand are playing.
I am finding no time to write during the day, and feel a little rude writing as these people are moving/dancing.
The space is open. A floor placed on rough grass, it’s taped together a little haphazardly.
Now Alvero is at the far edge, watching Anka who is sitting on a wall out the back.
The dissolution of the floor into the background – no walls – is important. The dancing can keep going on and on into the background.
Now the white dog is biting Alvero.
It is hard to compete with him that’s for sure.
Anka is making her way back to the space.
Kirstie is smiling.
Everyone is laughing.
The white dog is having the time of its life.
Improvisation never looked like this at all.
Alvero is soloing.
He is off balance. Rhythms with his feet.
An air drum solo.
The white dog wants to play, and is barking.
Alvero drives him off.
There is a sense of an event. It is very very strong.
A fig tree in the background.
Armand is picking up the rhythm.
We are now performing. There is no doubt about it.
The feel of the space is so different in solos and duets. There is an audience, and there are performers.
Kirstie is now soloing.
It is a little Spanish. Hips moving. fingers arced into the sky.
Shoulders taut.
She is looking away from us – -away away. A chainsaw in the distance. The rumble of thunder.
The density of information is intense (as it has been all week).
Shoulders lift, fingers flick away, her gaze is close by, and down. Playing a little with the rhythm, pushing the air away from her.
Doll like now. Spirit fingers.
Peipei enters the space.
And Mikka. His eyes are closed.
She is perched on one leg – arm outstretched.
There is quiet in the room.
White dog is back.
Peipei in full backbend, fingers tickling the air.
And now the floor.
Mikka’s eyes are opened by her noise, and play.
He remains quiet, responding to what is in the space? Arcing his body, tilting, feet in fourth.
Peipei is able to see away – the space is not simply here. It extends beyond the dance floor.
Fingers flicking.
Dorothy and Armand are playing Chinese sounding tunes. Well, I think so.
Now M and P have descended into narrative. It’s hard not to.
We are watching very closely — checking the space.
They are responding directly to each other — P’s tongue being a little naughty. She is tough. Knowing. Confident.
Here is Renee.
Looking for a partner?
She is smiling. Shoulders wriggling.
Lilting … playful, staying close to A’s cello/bass.
Released … winding, unwinding, staying with the tunes still.

To see more on Simon’s blog and photos of this most wonderful place click on……

Will try to be in touch soon.
Believe it or not it’s harder to be in communication by internet here than it was in Cambodia!

Hmmmm….. til soon, Kirstie



  Ninh wrote @

“t’s harder to be in communication by internet here than it was in Cambodia!”
it’s reassuring in a way…
Much love from France

  Katrina McPherson wrote @

Enjoyed reading what you – and Simon E have written.
Photos are fantastic.

Looking forward to speaking soon.

Love from the Moon.


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