Mosaic Fellow Charya Burt is an acclaimed master dancer, choreographer, vocalist and teacher of Classical Cambodian Dance who has injected new life into the dance form by creating classically inspired, inventive new works. Her training began shortly after the fall of the Khmer Rouge Regime with the foremost surviving dance masters of Cambodia at the Royal University of Fine Arts where she would eventually serve on the dance faculty. As a member of Cambodia’s Royal Dance Troupe, Charya toured nationally and internationally.
After emigrating in 1993, Charya has been performing throughout the United States, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, the San Francisco Opera House and countless times as a featured dancer at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. Her original works have been presented by the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, World Arts West, CounterPULSE, UC Santa Barbara, San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and many others. Charya holds a B.A., Cum Laude, from Sonoma State University and has conducted dance workshops at schools and colleges around the country.
A 2019-20 Dance/USA Fellow, Charya is a recipient of the prestigious Isadora Duncan Award for Individual Performance, has received multiple grant awards from The Center for Cultural Innovation, Irvine Dance in California, and the Creative Work Fund and is a four-time master artist awardee from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Her work has been chronicled in KQED Arts, Cambodian’s Dark Past Behind Her, A Dancer Steps into the Light (2014) and in the US Department of State’s Living Legacy Preserving Intangible Heritage, Classical Cambodian Dance Thrives in California (2010). Highlights of Charya’s recent choreographic works include Intersections Through Time (2010), Caressing Nostalgia (2011), Blossoming Antiquities: Rodin’s Encounter with the Celestial Dancers of Cambodia (2013), Heavenly Garden (2016), Of Spirits Intertwined (2018) and Silenced (2018). Charya’s mission is to continue to preserve and advance her art form, strengthen Cambodian dance communities, and create innovative works firmly rooted in tradition. She is founder and artistic director of Charya Burt Cambodian Dance, based in the San Francisco North Bay.
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