Born in 1985, Chumvan Sodhachivy (Belle) is a dancer, choreographer and teacher originally from Cambodia. Belle began her training in Cambodian Classical Dance in 1994. In 2003 she graduated from the National High School of Performing Arts. Her specialties include the Neang “Female role” which she has studied for nine years. She is also well versed in the Narong “male role”, Cambodian Folk Dance, Contemporary Dance, and Shadow Puppetry. In 2007, she was a final year student at the Faculty of Choreographic Arts, Royal University of Fine Arts.
As a performer she has toured throughout Asia on a cultural exchange; Morocco with the National School of Fine Arts for a performance for the Queen; Japan; Taiwan; Hong Kong; and Poland for another cultural exchange. In 2005 she traveled to the United States for a national tour, performing Cambodian Classical Dance in six different U.S. cities. In 2006, Belle studied under Mr. Robert Wilson as part of a residency at the Watermill Center in New York. She also participated in a collaboration with The Sand Glass Theatre in Vermont in which they toured the United States performing dance and shadow puppet theatre.
Belle has participated in numerous contemporary dance workshops around the world and has been a featured dancer in works by Emmanuelle Phone, Arco Renz, Peter Chin and others. Belle has also choreographed many of her own works and was most recently a featured dancer in Stravinsky’s Persephone directed by Peter Sellars at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.
In 2009, The French Institute of Cambodia invited Belle to be their dancer-in-residence for six months, where she created a public dance performance every month. The IFC also supported her short-term study in dance choreography at the Ex.erce Master Program in Montpellier, France.
Locally, she is a lecturer on the Faculty of Choreography Arts in Phnom Penh and a choreographer/dancer at Amrita Performing Arts. Last year, Belle was awarded a scholarship to study in New Zealand for six months. Later this year she will travel to France for a collaborative opera performance.