Sunday, May 3, 2009
Em Theay and her family after they lost everything in a house fire in March, was well-attended at the Bophana Center and the audience were given an extra special treat with solo dances from Em Theay herself, now 76 years old, her daughter Kim Ann Thong, whose supple movements belied her 56 years, and her 27 year old granddaughter Nam Narim, who has just returned home after her university studies in Korea. Three generations of a family steeped in traditional Cambodian classical dance. And if that wasn't enough, Em Theay then answered questions from the knowledgeable crowd and delighted us with more dance and song. It could've gone on for hours, you could see she was loving every minute of it. The film everyone had watched was Sally Ingleton's 1993 documentary The Tenth Dancer and having not seen it for a few years, it was even better than I remembered it. On screen Theay is shown passing on her knowledge and her skills to a new generation of dancers as Cambodia recovers from the shadows left by the Khmer Rouge regime. The event was organized by Toni Shapiro-Phim of Khmer Arts and the audience included Fred Frumberg and Sophiline Cheam Shapiro. If you want to donate to Em Theay and her family, contact Toni at firstname.lastname@example.org.