Wednesday, August 18, 2010

High culture

Time for some high culture. And you don't get much higher than the Royal Ballet of Cambodia performing Thong and Preah Neak, the legend of the creation of the Kingdom of Cambodia. This particular classical dance was choreographed by the Royal Ballet's director Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, herself a former dancer and adapted from an original dance of Queen Kossamak Nearyrath Sereivoddhna, her grandmother. A multitude of dances were created in the 60s, including one devoted to the great myth of Cambodia, 'a country born of water'. The prince Preah Thong, son of King Assach Cham, who ruled over the island of Koh Thlok, married the daughter of the king of Nagas, Princess Neang Neak Theravatti. So the legend goes. The members of the Royal Ballet, including my friend Sam Savin, performed this dance at the opening of the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music in Morocco on 4 June of this year. The Royal Ballet will be taking to the road in Europe in October for a series of seven performances in France and Belgium from 8-17 October, where another Buppha Devi creation, The Legend of Apsara Mera, will be presented.

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