JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: bringing ancient traditions alive in a new light. Artist Prumsodun Ok is taking a form of dance that dates back to performances solely for royalty in Cambodia. His Khmer dance company is transforming that classical style by using an all-male and openly gay group to showcase the art to the public. He now gives his Brief But Spectacular take on this unique tradition. It's also part of our Canvas series.
PRUMSODUN OK, Dancer: So, when you look at Khmer classical dance, there are a lot of curves in our art form. So we actually train our hands. We bend them back like this. And we have four primary hand gestures that we use. This is represents a tree. That tree is going to grow and then it'll have leaves. After it has leaves, it's going to have flowers. And after it has flowers, it's going to have fruit. That fruit is going to drop, and a new tree will grow. And so in those four gestures are the cycle of life. We use those four same gestures to illustrate sadness, love, anger, pain, joy, pride. The art form was nearly destroyed in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge took over. In a period of less than four years, 90 percent of Khmer dance artists lost their lives, during a time in which an entire third of Cambodia's population perished through disease, overwork, starvation, and execution. My teacher's teachers were instrumental in reviving the art form from the ashes of war and genocide. When I think about, what is my role to this tradition that was nearly lost, I have a responsibility to offer my fullest self, my realities as a gay man, someone born and raised in the diaspora, in and of and between many different worlds. I didn't go to Cambodia with the intention of starting Cambodia's first gay dance company. I had plans to move to Mexico City. Then I got a fellowship to work with all young male gay dancers.
And when I got to Cambodia, my friends, who are the leading dance artists in Cambodia, they would say, Prum, can you stay here? You know, the country needs you. The art form needs you. And I would say, no, because everywhere I looked around me, I saw so much sadness. After a month-and-a-half of training these young men, I sat down and I watched them. And I said, oh, my God, they look like a real company. And, oh, my God, Cambodia's first gay dance company just formed in my living room. To call the company, like, a gay dance company is a very brave and very forward thing. Before I auditioned the dancers, I told them: I need brave people. You are going to go on stage and you are going to represent a community that doesn't have a voice oftentimes. My name is Prumsodun Ok, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on honoring your traditions.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can find additional Brief But Spectacular episodes on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.
1.with the intention of 打算
Giovanni plied him with questions with the intention of prolonging his stay.
2.instrumental in 有帮助
In his first years as chairman he was instrumental in raising the company's wider profile
3.bring alive 变得生动
If the soap opera had some younger characters, that would bring it alive.
4.date back to 回溯
The community's links with Syria date back to biblical times.
5.go on stage 上台
I always get the jitters before I go on stage.
朱迪·伍德拉夫：今天，我们聊聊以新方式复兴古老传统的话题。艺术家奥克正在潜心研究一种舞蹈形式，这种舞蹈形式起源于多年前只出现在柬埔寨贵族表演中的舞蹈 。他的高棉舞伴正在将这种经典的舞蹈形式进行转变，方式是通过全为男性同性恋群体的舞者来向公众展现这种艺术 。今天，他将在《简短而精彩》中与我们分享这种独特传统 。本期节目是帆布系列节目的部分内容 。
奥克，舞者：每当我们观赏高棉经典舞蹈的时候，都能在其艺术形式中发现许多曲线。我们其实要训练手部的，我们会像这样像回弯曲 。主要有4种手部动作 。这个代表树 。随着这棵树的长大，会开始长出叶子 。有了叶子之后，就开始开花 。有了花之后，就会开始结果 。果子会掉落下来，新的树又开始生长 。所以这4种手势代表的是生命的周期 。我们用这4种相同的动作来表示悲伤、爱、愤怒、痛苦、欢乐、骄傲 。这种艺术形式在上世纪70年代几乎灭绝了，那时候红色高棉开始盛行 。在不到4年的时间里，90%的高棉舞艺术家失去了生命 。他们是柬埔寨的第三代人，他们因疾病、过劳、饥饿和处决而死 。我老师的老师们对于从战争和大屠杀的残骸之中复兴这种艺术形式发挥了重要的作用 。我会想——我对于这种近乎消亡的传统发挥了什么作用呢？我有义务赤诚相待，坦诚自己是同性恋的事实，坦诚自己在犹太人大流散期间出生并长大的事实，坦诚自己在多个不同世界间生活的事实 。我之前去柬埔寨的目的并不是创建第一家同性恋舞蹈公司 。我有计划搬到墨西哥市去的 。但随后我结实了一些朋友，得以跟一些男同性恋舞者共事 。
我到柬埔寨的时候，我在柬埔寨做领舞的一些朋友说：奥克，你能待在柬埔寨不走吗？你知道的，柬埔寨需要你，这种舞蹈形式需要你。我会回答说，不了，因为我目之所及，都是悲伤 。在培训这些年轻人一个半月吼，我坐下来看着他们 。我说，天呐，他们就像真正的团体一样 。天呐，柬埔寨的第一家同性恋舞蹈公司就这样在我的起居室里组建成功了 。称他们为同性恋舞蹈公司是一种很勇敢、很前卫的做法 。在我观看他们的试演之前，我跟他们说：我需要的是勇敢的人 。你们要走上舞台，代表一个经常没有发声机会的群体我是奥克，这是我本期分享的与尊重传统有关的《简短而精彩》 。