Friday, February 4, 2011

Breaking the mould

Yon Chantha including some classical postures in her routine at Meta House
A good turnout came through the doors at Meta House tonight for the contemporary dance show, People in Buildings, put on by three performers from the group New Cambodian Artists and theatre director Bob Ruijzendaal, who acts as the catalyst in these annual productions. It was good to see Yon Davy, her sister Chantha and Nget Rady exploring new avenues as contemporary dance continues to make its mark here in the Kingdom. We are still talking of a very small number of dancers who are breaking new boundaries every time they put on a contemporary show, attempting to overcome a reluctance of the establishment to accept them as 'real' artists and slowly winning the battle to convert their fellow Khmers to this new and intriguing artform. Part of that conversion is to include some traditional moves and postures into their new style of dance, just to ensure they don't lose their local audience completely. The performance will take place again tomorrow night, same place, same time. Yon Davy's explanations to the audience in a Q&A after the show were enlightening in their simplicity. Like all dancers her background is in the classical tradition and to break the mould and take up the contemporary form of dance isn't exactly a smooth road to follow but its one she's dedicated to, as are the handful of her peers working with Ruijzendaal and other foreign choreographers who bring them the benefit of their knowledge and experience. The 3 dancers will start work on preparing for another new piece next week which they will show in three weeks time. After that Ruijzendaal will be working with the country's best classical dancer of her generation, Sam Sathya, in a solo performance that promises to be very unique. If contemporary dance is your thing, then don't forget that Belle and her team, Silver Bell, will be putting on their show at Gasolina next Wednesday (9 Feb).
Yon Davy paying homage to Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks
Bob Ruijzendaal, who acts as the catalyst, said 90% of the dancers moves are their own

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