Every day is opening night.

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro

Sophiline Cheam Shapiro is a renowned Cambodian choreographer, dancer, vocalist and educator who has choreographed A Bend in the River, a dance piece (presented by Khmer Arts Ensemble and The Joyce Theater) that is featured in the current Season of Cambodia festival, which has brought 125 Cambodian artists to New York City in partnership with 30 major arts institutions. Find out what Sophiline's favorite part of the world is – and under what kind of tree – as we get her On the Couch.

What do you consider to be your best asset?
My repertory of dances and the artists who perform them.

What was your proudest moment?
When Toni Morrison called my dance “Samritechak” an epiphany.

What is your favorite drink?

What is your favorite food?
Grilled fish and tamarind sauce.

What is your favorite condiment?
Soy sauce and lime juice.

What is your current obsession?
Two-hour oil massages.

If you could give up one of your vices, what would it be?
White rice.

What is the one professional accomplishment you long for most?
A MacArthur Fellowship would be nice.

What is the one thing you waste too much money on?

What is the one activity you waste too much time doing?

What do you consider to be the single greatest threat to your health?
Arguing with my husband.

What is the single best trait you inherited or learned from your parents?

What is the single worst trait you inherited or learned from your parents?
An obsession with white rice.

What in the world most thrills you?
Watching my children win a swimming meet.

What current trend in popular culture most irritates you?
Low-waisted jeans.

What is your favorite place in the world?
Sitting on a mat under some coconut trees by the Gulf of Thailand.

What is the most important trait you seek in a romantic partner?

Do you prefer the company of dogs or cats?

What would have to happen to make today the best day of your life?
How about being awarded a MacArthur Fellowship?

What is your personal motto?
Make the world you want to live in.