Friday, March 26, 2010

Dance and stuff

The Khmer Arts Ensemble doing what they do best
Yesterday was so busy I didn't have time to fart let alone post anything on my blog. The introduction to classical dance by Sophiline Cheam Shapiro and Toni Shapiro-Phim at Living Room last night was excellent. I learnt more about this art-form in two hours than I have in watching countless shows, as Sophiline demonstrated the hand movements and body postures in detail and spoke about her own involvement and thinking in maintaining and upgrading classical dance in Cambodia. She's been responsible for brand new works, which might upset some in the establishment, but after thirty years in the arts she rightly feels she deserves to be able to create and perform these mould-breaking dances. In answer to one of my questions, she felt that despite being intrinsically linked to Cambodia's cultural heritage, classical dance doesn't get the television coverage it should and the youth of Cambodia are not being helped to understand what they are seeing when a performance is shown. To that end, when her Khmer Arts Ensemble perform in Takhmau on 9 and 10 April, she will conduct a pre-performance workshop to explain what the audience are about to see, as well as a Q&A session after the show. This is exactly what's required in my view, to make classical dance more accessible to all. I recommend you put the dates in your diary and make the effort to get out and see her professional dance company perform one of the classics, Ream Eyso Moni Mekhala. The television companies should take note as well.

It rained very heavily during the night and early morning (with accompanying thunder and lightning), leaving many roads under water in the city when I came to work. The sun hasn't appeared and rain looks likely during the day as well. Do I make a good weatherman? Tomorrow and Sunday sees the start of the new Cambodian football season. So that'll keep me busy for the next few months with four games each weekend and a midweek match as well. Regular readers will be pleased to hear that all football reports will be relegated (football terminology) to my new football-only blog here. On Sunday night at 7pm at Meta House, the Tenth Dancer will get an airing and if you haven't seen this film that focuses on classical dance revival in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge regime, make it a date. The fabulous Em Theay is one of the featured artists.



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