Friday, September 14, 2012
The accessibility of watching high quality classical dance performances is something that has rankled with me for a long while. The availability of such performances in Phnom Penh is annoyingly limited considering we have the national royal ballet on our doorstep, dancers who train for many years to perfect and hone their unique skills, but who more often display their talents overseas than they do at home. And when a performance of the national classical ballet troupe does take place, then the dance fraternity close ranks and few of the shows are made available to the general public. The Cambodian Living Arts team will open that closed door wider when they begin their six nights a week dance shows at the National Museum from 25 October, which will include both classical and traditional folk routines. Another important group offering a glimpse into the art of classical dance is the private touring group at Khmer Arts Ensemble. From time to time they throw open their doors and perform for public viewing. One such event will be held on Saturday 29 September at their own arts theater in Takhmao. As part of the Our City Festival, the premiere full-length performance of Sophiline Cheam Shapiro's Munkul Lokey will be performed - having only previously been shown in New York and Indonesia - with a free shuttle bus service on offer, on a first come first served basis. Call them on 023-425-780. The Ensemble team, under the tutelage of Sophiline Cheam Shapiro rank amongst the best dancers of their generation and often send their touring troupe to the USA to perform.