Sokvannara (Sy) Sar was born in Siem Reap, Cambodia, where he studied traditional Khmer dance from the age of ten at the Wat Bo School. At the age of sixteen, Sar was invited to come to New York to study at the School of American Ballet. Late to begin ballet training, Sar was also coached by the renowned teacher Olga Kostritzky, and after five years he joined Pacific Northwest Ballet (PNB) in Seattle when one of his teachers, Peter Boal, became Artistic Director.
While still an apprentice at PNB, Sar was a semifinalist in the 2006 International Ballet Competition, Varna, where he performed variations from Giselle, La Sylphide, Coppelia, and Le Corsaire. The same year, to celebrate the opening of the new United States Embassy complex in Phnom Penh, he was a guest artist at the cross-cultural evening at the Chatomuk Theatre, where he danced variations from Square Dance, Tschaikovsky pas de deux, and Le Corsaire.
After dancing with PNB, where he performed a variety of featured roles for four years, Sar danced briefly as a free-lance artist and with Suzanne Farrell Ballet at the Kennedy Center for the Fall 2010 season. At the invitation of Damian Woetzel, he has also appeared in the Vail International Dance Festivals of 2008, 2010, and 2011.
In May 2011, Sar joined Carolina Ballet as a soloist.
Sar and his remarkable story are the subject of the documentary film, Dancing Across Borders, which was distributed theatrically in Spring 2010 and was recently released on DVD in English and with Khmer subtitles. www.dancingacrossborders.net
Roles Choreographed on Mr. Sar:
Jill Johnson For Sy
Larry Keigwin Rock Steady
Benjamin Millepied 28 Variations of a Theme by Paganini, On the Other Side, Three Movements
Zalman Raffael Claire de Lune
Avi Scher Garden Dance
Principal and featured roles:
Pacific Northwest Ballet
George Balanchine La Sonnambula
William Forsythe One Flat Thing Reproduced
Marco Goecke Mopey
Jean-Christophe Maillot Romeo et Juliette
Kent Stowell The Nutcracker