Thursday, May 20, 2010
Two of Cambodia's very best dancers, Belle (left) and Sam Sathya (right) with one of their biggest fans savouring the momentI thought we might be blessed with one or two of the dance stars of Cambodia at the book launch of Beyond the Apsara at Monument Books tonight, but to have so many at one gathering was simply a wonderful indictment of the book and its importance to the dance community. The book is groundbreaking as it contains 25 essays from the artists themselves as well as a series of chapters from other artists and scholars of dance. I haven't seen Sam Savin for a few months so it was great to see her before she is off to Morocco and the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music with forty members of the national dance troupe to perform in northern Africa. Belle, Sam Sathya and Chey Chankethya were there before they jet off to Hong Kong and the United States to perform in Khmeropedies and others like Sin Sakada, Sang Phorsda, Hun Pen and Yon Davy simply graced the event with their elegance and beauty. The book's editors, Fred Frumberg and Stephanie Burridge spoke eloquently, as did contributors Chankethya and Toni Shapiro-Phim before it was time for a drink and a mingle. I walked Yon Davy across Wat Botum park, where she jumped at the chance to join one of the dance exercise groups before making her way home to the White Building, famed for its artistic community and where Davy has lived all her life. It was a great turnout from the dance community reflecting the family atmosphere and supportive nature to be found amongst this fraternity.
They don't come any better than these two 'heavyweights' of Cambodian dance, contemporary's best Belle (left) and classical's best Sam Sathya