King Norodom Sihamoni thanks Sam Savin personally on stage after the performance
Talk about rubbing shoulders with the great and the good, it was more like a who's who of the Cambodian royal family, the country's elite and the higher echelons of the foreign contingent in town, from Ambassadors to Trial Judges at the ECCC. Armed with my ticket from Sam Savin, one of the principal dancers in the Cambodian royal ballet, I arrived at the Chaktomuk Theatre around 6.15pm and was shown to a seat in the middle of the theatre, about halfway back. Not bad at all. Author and activist Theary Seng plonked herself down in the next seat and we introduced ourselves. More than an hour later, with every seat in the house taken, King Norodom Sihamoni entered alongwith Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who had choreographed the piece we were about to see, Ynav & Bosseba
. Sam Savin was the first to appear on stage, as a beautiful peacock being chased by a prince and was quickly followed by a series of princesses, kings, bandits, battle scenes, unrequited love, kidnap and happy ever after in a 75 minute performance - pretty much standard fare for the fantasy that is Cambodian classical dance. Savin reappeared later as a hand maiden to the princess and Vuth Chanmoly joined the cast as Prince Choraka. The cream of the country's classical dancers took their plaudits and individual thanks from the King, who was a dancer and dance teacher himself before he ascended to the throne, and the Princess. The television cameras were there too, so I can watch it all again on Apsara tv, maybe even spot myself in a suit for the first time in 2 years.
The King, the Princess and Sam Savin (front row, 2nd left) with her royal ballet colleagues Princess Buppha Devi and King Norodom Sihamoni give their personal thanks to the performers The cast of Ynav & Bosseba line up on stage for a group photo with their royal patrons A parting bow from the King amongst the cast of the royal ballet Three of the principal dancers with a young fan. Vuth Chanmoly is far right. Yes that's me in a suit for the 1st time since I came to Cambodia, alongside my next seat neighbour, author and activist Theary Seng, who was great company
Labels: Sam Savin, Theary Seng, Ynav and Bosseba