The first appearance of the Cambodian dance epic, Weyreap's Battle, takes place at London's Barbican Theatre this coming Friday 30 March thru to 1 April. The story itself is taken from the Reamker, Cambodia's version of the Indian poem Ramayana, and depicts a monumental struggle between good and evil, with a cast of monkey armies, human kings and queens, giants and underwater sea creatures. The production is staged within the conventions of the 10th-century male dance form - Lakhaon Kaol - with its ancient complex repertory of gesture and its spectacular masks and costumes. Find out more at www.amritaperformingarts.org. Ongoing projects for Amrita also include 3 Years, 8 Months, 20 Days: a new play directed by the renowned Dutch director Annemarie Prins, depicting the lives of three actresses during the Khmer Rouge regime. The piece premiered in February 2006 and is scheduled to perform at the 2007 Singapore International Arts Festival in June, with a possible tour to Europe.
The first public screening of a new film by Beth Pielert, Out of the Poison Tree, will take place at Berkeley University, California on Friday 6 April. There will be a special performance by one of the film's main characters, Cambodian rap artist, PraChly, and a Q&A session with the director afterwards. The film has been seven years in the making and will include interviews with Youk Chhang, director of DC-Cam, PraChly, and Aki Ra, who has just announced his retirement from his landmine museum in Siem Reap. On the eve of the long-awaited Khmer Rouge trial, an American survivor of the genocide, Thida Buth Mam, returns to Cambodia hoping to unlock the mystery of her father's disappearance in 1975. Her quest intersects with many silent voices: widows, survivors from remote villages, monks and even former perpetrators. Her search for the truth stirs up the fractured pieces of one family's nightmare, unearths an unimaginable heartbreak and ultimately shines light on a people's broken silence. Find out more about the film at their website: www.goodfilmworks.com.
Monday, March 26, 2007