Friday, May 22, 2009

Roussey Dek

Pisey, the female acrobat, takes centre stage at Sovanna Phum
In a play that had many dark overtones and more than once had a young child crying in the audience, the artists of Sovanna Phum put on a fine show of mixed art-forms tonight in their rendition of Roussey Dek. The combination of shadow puppet theatre, classical dance, monkeys and circus-style performers, with a traditional Khmer orchestra in the background, worked well for me. It was well choreographed and told a series of small stories that showed good and evil, corruption, imprisonment and injustice mingled with celebration and smiles. I particularly liked Pisey, the 21 year old female acrobat, who was thrown around the stage by her male counterparts and performed her balancing feats with poise and consummate skill. She's been with the troupe for three years and made a telling contribution to this particular show. I haven't been to a Sovanna Phum show for a while and it was good to see they've maintained their high quality performances as well as featuring a story like Roussey Dek that is a diversion from the norm. Full marks to Sovanna Phum. In addition, the handing out of notes to help the audience understand the show's contents is a very good idea, though the hard wooden benches could do with extra padding.
The performance kicked off with shadow puppets fighting
A mix of dance, puppets and circus went down extremely well
Pisey and her acrobat team alongwith the two classical dancers
The silhouettes created by the candles was a mite scary for young children
Pisey demonstrating one of her many balancing acts
Members of the cast take their bows at the end of the show
The star of the show, Pisey with her latest admirer

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