Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Arts revival

Passionate and articulate, Arn Chorn-Pond is the compelling subject of The Flute Player
Cambodian Living Arts are doing amazing things in reviving traditional Khmer performing arts. Everyone should support them. And you will get that chance this coming Friday (30th January) when Meta House on Street 264 will have a night dedicated to CLA. It'll start at 6pm and will include some traditional live music, a short documentary by Choun Sarin on the large shadow puppets of Sbaek Thom, and best of all, my first chance to see The Flute Player. This award-winning documentary by Jocelyn Glatzer has been out since 2003 but I've always managed to miss previous showings. On Friday I will demand a front row seat and nothing less. The film tells the compelling story of CLA-founder Arn Chorn-Pond, who I had the pleasure of meeting a year ago. At that time we took in a practice session by Ieng Sithul's young dance group sponsored by CLA in a room in the White Building before taking a walk through the Dey Krahom community next door to visit the home of legendary chapei master Kong Nai. With the destruction of Dey Krahom at the weekend, famed for housing many members of the city's artistic community, the future of the White Building is now being called into question. Arn and his team, including the likes of Charley Todd, Dickon Verey and a host of master musicians and teachers are leading the way in the revival of the arts here in Cambodia and forging a new path into the future with collaborations such as Where Elephants Weep. Find out more here.

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