Friday, November 25, 2011

Improv dance

The 7 dancers at Lyla Lagoon tonight
A double-header tonight with an improvised contemporary dance, and a lecture on a little-known French painter. But it's all art isn't it. The dance, with Belle, Narim, Leak and Tonh, together with three female artists from the States, was contemporary and free-form and looked like the dancers were emulating various forms of wildlife in the forest, but to be honest, that's just a guess. There was no introduction and the programme didn't give a clue either. A few animal style noises from the dancers and some obvious postures were the giveaway but as to whether there was a story taking place before my eyes, goodness only knows. That's the thing about contemporary, you either understand it, or its a mystery. I asked a few others and they didn't get it either. So I wasn't alone. To be honest I like to see something I can understand or relate to. Just makes it easier for my simple brain to absorb it. I thought the Khmer dancers were more fluid in their movement, more relaxed and flexible than their American colleagues, but just my observation. Nevertheless, it was a whirlwind of motion from the seven performers. The dance was at Lyla Lagoon and was well supported. There's another dance performance, from Epic Arts, tomorrow night but I'll be at a wedding party. I left immediately it ended and headed across town for Meta House, just in time to catch the start of Joel Montague's lecture on the Indochina paintings of the French artist Jean Despujols from 1937. One of the largest collections of its kind, the paintings and sketches are held in a small museum in America and have never been seen over here. Despujols painted portraits of hill-tribes and others, the Cham in Cambodia and so on. He was a talented artist though his Indochina adventures were just a small part of his portfolio. Joel's talk was interesting and well received, though he did run through his slides pretty quickly.
With Joel Montague after his lecture at Meta House

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