CELEBRATING CAMBODIAN CULTURE: In 1986, refugees from the genocide in Cambodia – during which an estimated 90 percent of the country’s artists were executed – established the Angkor Dance Troupe in Lowell.
The goal was to preserve and revive Cambodian cultural traditions. The troupe has since become a cornerstone in the city, which has the second-largest Cambodian-American population in the United States.
Angkor Dance Troupe celebrates its 25th anniversary with a world premiere of “Apsara Dancing Stones,” a contemporary dance drama that embodies the past and present, on Saturday at Lowell Memorial Auditorium.
The performance is directed by Phousita Huy, an internationally recognized performer and instructor of Cambodian classical dance.
“The city of Lowell is lucky to have the Angkor Dance Troupe,” said state Senator Eileen Donoghue, cochairwoman of the legislative Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development. “Through their interpretive dance, they honor Cambodian history and culture. As we celebrate their 25th anniversary, we should be grateful for the level of cultural enrichment that they bring to our diverse community.”
Each year the troupe performs for about 10,000 people and teaches some 100 young performers from throughout New England classical Cambodian dance and arts.
The troupe has received national attention, including a performance at the White House in 1999, and recognition by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“We are very excited to celebrate our 25th anniversary by presenting this world premiere performance,” said Tim Thou, cofounder and director of the Angkor Dance Troupe. “This show will combine modern and classical Cambodian styles in presenting an important and engaging story of the Khmer culture.”
The performance runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $18 and $50; $125 for dinner and an opening show. They can be purchased at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium box office in person, by calling 978-454-2299, or visiting lowellauditorium.com.
JAZZ ON TAP: Berklee in Gloucester launches its season with a performance by The Jim Odgren Quintet at The Gloucester House on Thursday.
The series of concerts features professors from the Berklee College of Music in Boston and some of their top students. Proceeds benefit the Gloucester2Berklee Scholarship Fund, which helps send students from the city to the music college.
“Given all the Berklee students and alumni who live here, we feel that Berklee is somewhat responsible for Gloucester’s burgeoning music scene,” said Peter Van Ness of gimmeLIVE, producer of this season’s Berklee in Gloucester shows. “Normally, you’d only expect to see these concerts in a big city. You get to catch the best players in the world today as they train the best players of tomorrow.”
The jazz quintet is led by Berklee professors Jim Odgren on alto saxophone and Dave Santoro on acoustic bass. They are joined by Berklee student musicians Roberto Giaquinto on drums, Davis Whitfield on piano, and Lucian Gray on guitar.
The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 (cash only) at the door. Call 978-525-9093 or visit gimmesound.com.
AUTHORS’ CORNER: A launch party for a new book by Joel Brown, “Essex Coastal Byway Guide: History, Culture & Nature on the North Shore,” will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at Plum Island Coffee Roasters on the Newburyport waterfront. The state-designated byway links 13 towns and hugs the coast from Lynn and Salem to Gloucester and Rockport and north to Newburyport. The guide has a chapter on each of the towns and features local destinations from museums and historic homes to beaches and wildlife refuges. It is the first guide of the new scenic route. Brown, a frequent contributor to Globe North, lives in Newburyport. Dylan Metrano, whose paper cuts of area scenes illustrate the book cover, will also be at the launch.
IN LOCAL GALLERIES: The Marblehead Arts
Association presents its fifth annual photography show through next Sunday. “Give Us Your Best Shot” is an open show featuring works by both association members and nonmembers. The three judges’ awards went to Susan Brewer for “Winter Island Storm”; Glenn Engman for “Honey I’m Home”; and Elisa Castillo for “Tangled Fish Net in Heraklion.” Honorable mentions were awarded to Pamela Joye and Karen Hosking. Exhibit judge was Judith Monteferrante of Gloucester. . . . “From the Mills to the Madhouse,” an exhibit of work by Michael Ramseur, is at The Provident Bank’s Lobby for the Arts in Amesbury through the end of December. A reception with the artist is scheduled for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday. Ramseur, of Amesbury, has been a pastel artist for more than 35 years. He focuses on a range of subjects, including riders on the Boston subway system, the textile mills in the Merrimack Valley (particularly Lawrence), and the former Danvers State Hospital. Ramseur has been drawing and writing about Danvers State since 1986. He is the author of three books, one of which he will read from at the reception.