Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dance family

A special moment, the author with Em Theay after today's performance
This afternoon's fundraising film screening for 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
Three generations of a classical family; Nam Narim, Kim Ann Thong and Em Theay
Mother & daughter; Kim Ann Thong, also known as Preab and her daughter Nam Narim

Labels: ,


Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Well done to The Cambodia Daily newspaper who previewed the Em Theay Benefit screening on Sunday, BEFORE the event. The Phnom Penh Post unfortunately did not. However, they did include a piece in today's paper, AFTER the event. They say better late than never but that didn't help to get more people through the door on Sunday, did it?

I actually sent detailed information about the screening to both newspapers in good time in order to preview the event. Sadly only 1 newspaper managed to fit the story in.
On the plus side, the PPP did mention that if anyone wishes to contribute a donation to Em Theay and her family, they can contact Toni Shapiro-Phim on

I know that copies of the dvd The Tenth Dancer - which is a fabulous film - will soon be available with profits going to Em Theay.
You get a good appreciation of the life of Em Theay and the dancers in the film (released in 1993) and 16 years later, she is still the same, laughing and dancing her way through life, despite the hurdles she encounters, like the fire that destroyed her possessions in March.

May 5, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older