Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Book launch minus author

The classical dancers give their support to the new book, Cambodian Dance
It didn't seem right that a book launch could be scheduled without the appearance of the author but that's exactly what happened at Monument books in Phnom Penh this evening - and it turned out just fine. In fact Monument Books went out of their way to make up for the absence of author Denise Heywood, residing back home in London, by entertaining the good crowd with a performance of classical Cambodian dance, accompanied by a youthful pinpeat orchestra, a great spread of food and drink and an introduction to the evening by celebrated author and owner of the publishers, River Books, MR Narisa Chakrabongse. It was earlier this year that Narisa, the founder and chairwoman of Green World Foundation, had boycotted an offer to carry the Olympic torch in protest of China's actions against Tibet. She is a well-established author herself with books published on the Thai royal family and edited Denise Heywood's new book. The teenage dancers and orchestra came from the Preak Leap-based NGO Angkar Sangkruos Komar Borey Bakheng, who provide free arts training to the poor and gifted of the village of Bakheng, just outside the capital. They put on a fine show which fitted in perfectly with the theme of the evening's launch, and the title of the new book, Cambodian Dance. I must also congratulate Monument on their catering efforts too (courtesy of Java Cafe) but of course they now have to maintain these high standards they have set themselves, starting with the book-signing by Ambassador Sichan Siv and his Golden Bones book on Saturday evening.
MR Narisa Chakrabongse offers her view on the excellent new book by Denise Heywood
Three of the dancers and the pinpeat orchestra, all from Bakheng village
Some of the audience show their appreciation for the dance performance
The whole company take their bow at the end of the show


Blogger William said...

Just wanted to let you know that the food was provided by Dana of Java TeaRooms. Monument hasn't branched into the catering business yet and that's a good thing - I guarantee Dana's food is so much better than anything we could whip up....

November 27, 2008 9:23 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Excellent grub nonetheless. Full marks to the chef and to monument for the event.

November 27, 2008 4:00 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Denise Heywood was overwhelmed to see the pictures of the event to launch her book at Monument. She was at her computer screen in London when I sent through my blog and demanded to know every little detail. Through tears of joy she put aside her disappointment at not being able to make the launch and hopes to be over soon to hold a book-signing and talk at Monument instead.

November 28, 2008 12:49 AM  

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