Saturday, March 19, 2011

Sospiri(t)

Yon Chantha (left) and Sam Sathya after their wonderful performance
Fabulous. Two fantastic dancers, mixing and matching classical movements with contemporary ideas, up close and personal, frenetic moments followed by serene and measured poses, the Sospiri performance at Meta House tonight had it all. The combination worked a treat for the full house who'd come to watch this, the 2nd night of a performance which is the tenth collaboration Bob Ruijzendaal has brought to Cambodia, with a variety of dancers. Tonight's partnership saw the doyenne of classical dance, Sam Sathya, in tandem with one of the most vibrant and electric of the current crop of contemporary artists, Yon Chantha. It was a match made in heaven. The theme running through Sospiri was rituals and generations and the two performers gave it everything, as Sathya demonstrated the artistic proficiency that she has performed to audiences across the world for more than twenty years, with Chantha, at times dazzled and beholden to her teacher and at others, working herself into a frenzy of motion. I didn't want it to stop. The music from Franz Liszt even included a tune from Robinson Crusoe, a television series from my childhood. The merging of old and new worked for me, to see the country's best classical dancer at such close quarters reveling in her art and a blossoming talent in Chantha who simply gets better with each new performance.
An opening scene from Sospiri after both dancers began by chanting
Both dancers in unison
Sam Sathya with her ball of cotton string
More traditional classical moves from Sathya
Sam Sathya has perfected every female classical dance move
Chantha's facial expressions are a joy in themselves as she ties up Sathya
Sam Sathya held back by a cotton rope
A tender moment between teacher and student
Both dancers demonstrate precise hand movements
Chantha tries to break free from her cotton chains
The last moments of the Sospiri performance in front of a full house
The two dancers take their bows at the end of their show

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