KI-Media2 KI Media All of This Restraint in the Service of Beauty

Royal Ballet of Cambodia at Brooklyn Academy of Music
By ALASTAIR MACAULAY
NYT – Published: May 3, 2013

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Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

Royal Ballet of Cambodia Chap Chamroeun Tola performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Flourishing their hands like fans, the dancers of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia create a measured world of complete etiquette. Everything is recollected in tranquillity. Even a battle is depicted with patterned composure. Nothing is fast. Yet stasis seldom occurs; some flow of movement is almost always in evidence. The planting of the heel or the ball of a bare foot; the flexing of a foot raised behind; the soft, S-bend adjustment of the torso at hip and shoulder in certain prolonged balances: these are all sensuous ingredients of the style.

The company — 21 female and 3 male dancers, 4 singers and 5 instrumentalists — is performing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music through Saturday; its production, “The Legend of Apsara Mera,” choreographed by Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, is a two-part narrative lasting some 80 minutes. This isn’t ballet in the modern Western sense of straightened legs and pointed feet, let alone pirouettes, jumps or acrobatic display.

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