Photograph from glass plate.
These rare images of five principal women dancers from the Royal Ballet of Cambodia are on display in the United States for the first time. Recently rediscovered, catalogued, restored, and digitized, the 1927 images capture the dancers performing the postures and gestures from the classical canon. French scholar George Groslier, who was the Director of the National Museum of Cambodia, initiated the project to preserve the memory of the ballet, which he believed was endangered. This exhibition is an initiative of the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO) and the National Museum of Cambodia, with support from UNESCO and the Institut Français du Cambodge.
This exhibition is part of New York's Season of Cambodia festival (April 6 - May 31).
Season of Cambodia lights up New York City’s cultural landscape in April and May 2013, with more than 125 artists from Cambodia for a major celebration of Cambodian arts, culture, and humanities. Distinctive works from master and emerging artists and scholars — in ritual, music, visual arts, performance, dance, shadow puppetry, film, and academic forums — will be presented by 30 of New York’s most renowned arts and educational institutions, marking an unprecedented city-wide partnership initiative to celebrate one of the world’s most vibrant and evocative cultures. Season of Cambodia is an initiative of Cambodian Living Arts.
This exhibition was developed by The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts: Jacqueline Z. Davis, Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director; Barbara Cohen-Stratyner, Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Curator of Exhibitions. It was curated by Bertrand Porte, Director, Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient in Phnom Penh; designed by Caitlin Mack and installed by René Ronda. Media: Mike Diekmann. We are grateful to the staff of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division for their assistance with this project.
We thank the Ministry of Culture: M. Hab Touch, Director of the Heritage Department; M. Kong Vireak, Director of the National Museum of Cambodia; and Madam Oun Phalline, Vice-Director of the Heritage Department; and Phloeun Prim, CEO, Season of Cambodia and Cambodian Living Arts, for facilitating the project.
Photographers : Jean de Calan, Tum Saroeun
Dancers: Em Theay, Lucie Labbé, Suppya Nut, and Sinsama Deukchho
Conservators & librarian : Chea Socheat, Debra Parry, Ham Seiha Sarann, Horl Sopheap, Hor Kosal, Jane Wood, Khom Sreymom, Lim Yi, and Vorn Kunthea.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.