The Royal Ballet Exhibition
(shortened report written by Khun Sathal, National Museum of Cambodia)
The Royal Ballet exhibition has been done with the cooperation between the National Museum of Cambodia and the photographer, Mr. Anders Jiras with financial support from the Friends of Khmer Culture (FOKCI). This exhibition will last for three months, from 4 November 2010 to 31 January 2011.
For this exhibition, we selected 27 photographs from Mr. Anders Jiras and two photographs of dancers in the year of 1914 and 1923 and the music instruments of the pinpeat orchestra, which always accompanies the Royal Ballet, that are from the museum’s collection. Totally, there are 29 photographs exhibited in this exhibition.
The photographs are from the performances of Sovannahong, Preah Samuth, Inav Bosba, Apsara Mera, and a Boung Sougn ceremony at the Royal Palace. Each photograph has its own labels in two languages, Khmer and English, explaining who is playing and the role in the story of the performance. This is not only to help the visitor to see what the Royal Ballet dances looks like, but we also try to provide them some brief information about the story of the Royal Ballet dances.
Besides the labels, simple leaflets are also provided in two languages, Khmer and English. They tell the visitor about the exhibition in general and some information about the Royal Ballet such as its history, the repertory, pinpeat orchestra, characters and custom of the Royal Ballet. Additionally, there is the film, from the early 1960s, of Her Royal Highness Samdech Reach Botrei Preah Ream Norodom Buphha Devi dancing when she was young and the King Norodom Sihanouk’s mother Kossamak Nearirath who gave new impulse and created a number of ballets and set up a new model of performance and devoted many things to the Royal Ballet, that is shown in the exhibition hall. Banner and posters were made for public show as well.
The Grand Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony was held on 4 November 2010 with the art performance of Cambodian Living Arts. On that occasion, national and international guests were invited to participate under the auspices of H. E. Ouk Socheat, Secretary of State and the Representative of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and Mr. Teruo Jinnai, UNESCO Representative in Cambodia, Mr. Kong Vireak, the Representative of FOKCI in Cambodia, diplomatic and others official and unofficial guests.
After the welcome speeches of Mrs. Oun Phalline, Mr. Anders Jiras, Mr. Teruo Jinnai and H. E. Ouk Socheat, the red ribbon cutting ceremony was done and then the art performance started and finally, everybody enjoyed the meal. The opening occasion was passed with very pleased circumstance.
The Expected Outcome
Besides the aim to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the proclamation of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in the World Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the museum expected that through this exhibition, both national and international visitor will gain some knowledge of the Royal Ballet through the photographs and the information material that we provided, especially for Cambodian people. By understanding, seeing, and feeling the important and the precious dances of the Royal Ballet, people will help to preserve the Royal Ballet as well as other intangible heritage of Cambodia and the World.
A downloadable PDF of the shortened report with images can be found here. 0.85 MB