Southeast Asian arts & culture
Since 1989, The Asian Pacific Self-Development and Residental Association (APSARA) has served more than 1,000 low-income residents of Stockton’s Park Village neighborhood by providing affordable housing and competent cultural programs that fit their social and economical needs.
In 2002, with support from ACTA’s Traditonal Arts Development Program, APSARA held a series of dance workshops for Cambodian students. Master Cambodian classical dancer Charya Cheam Burt led the workshops which included dance techniques and spiritual rituals essential to the understanding of the art. Students learned about costume preparation and performed traditional dances for the Buddhist New Year Celebration in April.
Said Charya Cheam Burt about the workshops, “APSARA dancers were able to improve their techniques and skills to become better dancers. They were able to remember a couple of old dances and learn a new dance piece. Furthermore, they were able to learn and understand the spiritual and ritual connection which is highly essential to the khmer arts. Although they still need more formal training, they at least know a few dance pieces they can perform for their community.”