Monday, February 18, 2008

A taste of Khmer dance

Principal Royal Ballet classical dancer Sam Savin
This morning I gate-crashed a performance by members of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia and the Royal University of Fine Arts performing as part of an event organised by Amrita Performing Arts and presided over by the Culture Minister, Veng Sereyvuth. Hard to believe but this was my first-ever viewing of the top-level of classical dance performers in Cambodia and my inside contact was one of the troupe's best dancers, Sam Savin. Today's performance was a break from the rigours of daily practice for the troupe, of which twenty will be off to perform in France for a month very soon. Savin has been dancing since she was twelve, she's now 28 and has performed abroad many times in major performances and tours such as Dance - The Spirit of Cambodia, Seasons of Migration, she starred as Pamina Devi in the dance of the same name and recently performed in L'Nuits d'Angkor Festival at Angkor Wat. We are talking the very pinnacle of classical Cambodian dance. I managed to grab a few photos before, during and after the performance, which I'll post here. As for the details of the dance itself, Savin tried her best to explain but I need to do some more research before I commit myself to print! More later.

The beauty and the beast (the beauty has wings, the beast is wearing the trousers!)
Some of the leading dance performers and their teachersSavin takes center stage during this morning's dance performance
Savin and her fellow heavenly creatures pose for the camera after the performance. LtoR: Savin, Vichary, Sopheap & Sakada


Leakana in LB said...

Dang, you got VIP access to the show! You get to do and see everything! I'm so jealous of you right now. Maybe I should quit my job and move to Cambodia too! Okay maybe after I pay off my student loans. Save me a seat at the next performance!

Anonymous said...

Andy, i hope cambodia encourages and safeguards its national treasure, the royal classical ballet as they are known. a good way to do this is to promote their tours all over the world.