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Cambodian Royal Ballet

Year: 1971, 27 mins
Code: CAT-Cam

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The royal Dancers of Cambodia, once one of the finest Asian troupes in the world, perform two works from their classical repertoire. Asian arts authority Faubion Bowers provides commentary and interviews the leading young dancer Voan Savay as she demonstrates styles and training methods. These dancers, all women, had just made a successful tour of the United States when this program was made. Soon thereafter the political upheavals in Cambodia virtually destroyed that country. These "apsaras" or "goddess dancers" were all either driven into exile or killed.

Richardson's film career began as an extra in 1931. He was soon cast in leading roles in British and American films including Things to Come (1936), The Fallen Idol (1948), Long Day's Journey into Night(1962) and Doctor Zhivago (1965). He received nominations and awards in the UK, Europe and the US for his stage and screen work from 1948 until his death. Richardson was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, first for The Heiress(1949) and again (posthumously) for his final film, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984).

"the dancers of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia create a measured world of complete etiquette. Everything is recollected in tranquillity. Even a battle is depicted with patterned composure. Nothing is fast. Yet stasis seldom occurs; some flow of movement is almost always in evidence. The planting of the heel or the ball of a bare foot; the flexing of a foot raised behind; the soft, S-bend adjustment of the torso at hip and shoulder in certain prolonged balances: these are all sensuous ingredients of the style ...This isn’t ballet in the modern Western sense of straightened legs and pointed feet, let alone pirouettes, jumps or acrobatic display." Alastair Macaulay NY Times.

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