Thursday, November 4, 2010
Children of Bassac were a joy to watch this evening at the National Museum for the first of their weekly performances during the tourist high season. Sponsored by Cambodian Living Arts, the US Embassy and the Ministry of Culture, the combination of classical and folk dances will grace the stage at the front of the museum every Thursday night at 7pm for an hour for the next five months. A regular show of this nature has long been missing from the events listings in the capital and now its up to locals, expats and tourists alike to throw their full weight behind this endeavour. The company of dancers ranging in age from 16 to 21 have performed abroad and it showed. The seven sections of the show were performed with expertise and craftmanship, these youngsters have trained long and hard to polish their display and it paid off with a seamless performance for the packed audience. My photos don't do it justice as my camera was playing up and only decided to work towards the end of the show. That means there's no pictures from the first part of the evening, when Anders Jiras' exhibition of photographs of the Royal Ballet was officially opened with a few long speeches and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The exhibition is in a wing of the museum and coincides with the 7th anniversary of the Royal Ballet getting its World Intangible Cultural Heritage badge. Anders is the best performance photographer in the city by a country mile and his photos deserve this solo exhibition in my view. It will remain on view until the end of January 2011.