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UMass Lowell Chancellor Julie Chen’s Inauguration Celebration

On Thursday, April 13, Julie Chen was formally installed as chancellor of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.


Angkor Dance Troupe was honored to be part of the historic celebration honoring Chancellor Julie Chen's inauguration. On April 12, ADT performed an excerpt from the epic tale, Reamker. The scene depicted was Hanuman & Sovann Machha, a story involving capture and rescue. Hanuman, the White Monkey General, dives into the sea to investigate who has been vandalizing the stones his army has been using. He discovers a beautiful golden mermaid named Sovann Machha who has been carrying off the stones in an act of playful vandalism. Hanuman confronts the beautiful but troublesome mermaid, Sovann Machha — at the same time he can’t help but he dazzled by her beauty and falls in love. She initially resists and wants nothing to do with him. Hanuman uses a variety of tactics to get her attention and eventually, as the story continues past this chapter, he wins her over as his partner in the fight against evil.


On April 13, ADT performed the Blessing Dance at the beginning of the inauguration. The Blessing Dance is traditionally and religiously performed in the Royal palace to get rid of bad spirits and to ask power of God to bless for the royal kingdom. Today, the blessing dance is performed at the beginning of all types of performances and ceremonies. It is a dance of greeting and good wishes. During the performance, dancers sprinkle flower petals towards the guest of honor. This is done in hopes of bringing prosperity, peace, and good health to everyone in presence.


Photos via Chancellor Julie Chen (Facebook).



April 12, 2023 — Channa Sath and Cheymony Nicky Fennell perform Sovann Macha at UMass Lowell's University Crossing. Photos by Bora Chiemroum and Sokny Alyana Long (via Facebook).


April 13, 2023 — Brianna Mai, Victoria Phan, and Gima Mean perform the Blessing Dance at UMass Lowell's Tsongas Center to honor Chancellor Julie Chen. Photos by Bora Chiemroum and James Ostis.


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