My blog last week detailing the fantastic time I had at one of Portland’s great aerial schools got me a a little wistful for some of my recent travels. You see, while I was traipsing through Cambodia several months ago, my travel companions found a similar school. This was the first time I’d really heard of something like that being open to the public, so needless to say I was very excited. The school was in Battanbong, the second largest city in Cambodia. The group at this school was known to have an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion. What’s more, this group wove all those activities into a beautifully choreographed performance which told the a story of Cambodian people and society The famous artists of this school, called Phare Ponleu Selpak, had performed all around the world. We scheduled our time in Battanbong around an afternoon performance that might allow us to participate.
But alas, when we arrived at the school we found it closed. The country was mourning the passing of the Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk. We wandered the grounds, melancholy as we climbed the bars, dangling aloft. Slowly, though, our disappointment dissipated as children arrived from the surrounding grounds and joined with us to frolic in the so previously empty structures. My aerial lesson would have to wait until I least expected it, but meanwhile we made some new friends.
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