Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hang Yunn

HE Veng Sereyvuth expresses his pride in Khmer culture at the end of Hang Yunn
Well, considering it was supposed to be an informal, almost dress-rehearsal by the classical dance school of the Secondary School of Fine Arts, tonight's debut performance of a traditional story called Hang Yunn at the Chenla Theatre, was both well-attended by the rank and file and bristling with VIPs. Top seat in the house went to Veng Sereyvuth, the Minister of Culture, who gave an impassioned speech about the arts at the end of the night, as well as UNESCO representatives and such notables as the legendary dance mistress Em Theay. From what I could gather it was a story of illicit love, a baby born out of wedlock, a disappearing husband, a stolen baby, a marriage between mother and son (though they were blissfully ignorant of the fact), a giant bird and the return of the prodigal husband. All fairly standard stuff in Khmer folklore. The costumes were as gorgeous as ever, the performers polished and precise and the musicians made me move my feet. Missing from the line-up was my pal Sam Savin who was to have played the prince in the show but couldn't make it.
The errant prince and his father in full flow
The princess, their grown-up son and the prince


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