Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pick of the Week - Royal Ballet of Cambodia

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia
    From exotic Asia, the internationally renowned Royal Ballet of Cambodia is coming to Pittsburgh for a one evening performance at the Byham Theater.
Recognized by UNESCO for carrying on the 1,000-year-old Khmer classical dance style originally performed at royal events and ceremonies, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia has been deemed "sweet and seductive" by The Dance Insider. None other than Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi serves as the company’s choreographer.
    The gestures and poses of Khmer classical dance, mastered by the performers only after years of intensive training, evoke the gamut of human emotions, from fear and rage to love and joy. An orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers, who were considered the kings’ messengers to the gods and to the ancestors.
    According to Wikipedia performances entail elaborately dressed dancers performing a slow and figurative set of gestures and poses meant to entrance the viewer. The repertoire includes dances of tribute or invocation and the enactment of traditional stories and epic poems such as the Ramayana. The music is played by an ensemble of xylophones,metallophones, woodwind instruments, drums, and gong chimes accompanied by a chorus.
    "I look forward to welcoming the Royal Ballet of Cambodia to Pittsburgh for the first time to expose our audiences to the beauty and elegance of classical Cambodian dance," shared Paul Organisak, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s vice president of Programming and executive director of the Pittsburgh Dance Council.             "This rare opportunity to see the authentic spectacular costumes, music and movement of this remarkable culture should not be missed. This company has done a brilliant job of preserving these traditional dances in a wonderful stage presentation."
    The Royal Ballet of Cambodia will perform at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 7, at the Byham Theater, 101 Sixth Street, Downtown Pittsburgh.
    Tickets ($20-$45) are available at, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.  Groups of 10 or more call 412-471-6930 or visit online

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