Sophiline Cheam

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro
Cambodian Dancer and Choreographer
Long Beach , CA
2009 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro is a choreog-rapher, dancer, vocalist, and educator of classical Cambodian dance. Raised in Phnom Penh, she studied dance at the University of Fine Arts there, joining its faculty in 1981. After moving to California in 1991 she studied dance ethnology at UCLA from 1997–99. Cheam Shapiro maintains the core of traditional Cambodian dance while adding contemporary content, such as the role of women in traditional cultures, and working with contemporary composers. She co-founded Khmer Arts, a transnational dance organization based in Phnom Penh and Long Beach, California, which has the largest Cambodian population outside of Cambodia.

Portrait photo courtesy John Shapiro.
  • Artwork by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro
    Sophiline Cheam Shapiro rehearsing with Noun Kaza of the Khmer Arts Ensemble; photo courtesy James Wasserman
Artwork by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro