Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tenth Dancer

Em Theay adjusts the headdress of Sok Chea during The Tenth Dancer
The Tenth Dancer was a watershed film for me in many respects. There was so little television or film coming out of Cambodia in the early '90s that Sally Ingleton's 1993 documentary on the revival of classical dance in Cambodia through two of its shining stars, Em Theay and Sok Chea, was a godsend when it was screened by the BBC back in England. But I think it means even more to me today, having met Em Theay in person and having succumbed to her spirited personality and natural grace and zest for life and dance. The recent fire at her daughter's home where Theay lived that destroyed everything, including her precious memories, was a cruel twist for a family who have already endured more than most. I'm hoping that a benefit screening of The Tenth Dancer can take place at the Bophana Center in the near future, so people can see this beautifully-crafted film and at the same time, show their respect and admiration for Em Theay and her family. Please visit the website of The Tenth Dancer to find out more about this incredible story of survival of classical dance and the dancers themselves.

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Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

As I was away last week I just assumed that the fire that consumed the home of Em Teay and her daughter and in which they lost everything, would've been reported in the English-speaking press here, but apparently not. It was reported in the Khmer press and on television but not picked up by the English-language press. How strange. Em Theay is a well known name internationally and I would've thought some press on the matter would've generated some help.
Anyway, if the benefit screening of The Tenth Dancer gets off the ground, then I hope people will flock in their hundreds to support this national icon who has already endured more heartache to last many lifetimes.

April 2, 2009 11:44 AM  

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