Beyond the Apsara
Celebrating Dance in Cambodia
Edited by Stephanie Burridge, Fred Frumberg
Published November 12th 2009 by Routledge India – 242 pages
This book celebrates and documents the resurgence of dance in Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge and the infamous Pol Pot regime. It honours the remarkable commitment of the few remaining masters of the art of dance who are reviving and preserving the famous classical dances, as well as the courage and resolution of young artists who are imaginatively pursuing their passion to forge new paths in contemporary dance. n 2003, Cambodian classical dance was awarded world heritage status by UNESCO – this confirmed the importance, and perhaps the burden, of the task of preservation. This volume includes contributions from the royal family, eminent writers and commentators and the dancers themselves.
Monuments and reminders of the Killing Fields abound in the city of Phnom Penh. Nearly 2 million Cambodians, including many artists, perished during the killings or died of starvation and disease during the Khmer Rouge years. Today, the dancers, both young and old, move towards the future while respecting and honouring the past. This volume documents their journey.
Stephanie Burridge has lectured at LASALLE College of the Arts, and Singapore Management University, and is a dance critic, author and editor of numerous publications.
Fred Frumberg is Director, Amrita Performing Arts, a non-profit organisation based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.