Bass, a longtime U.S. patron of dance, came across 16-year-old Sokvannara (Sy) Sar performing in a temple with a traditional Cambodian dance group during a trip she made to Cambodia in 2000. Impressed by his natural ability as a dancer, Bass decided to offer Sy the opportunity to leave his home and follow a dream that he had never imagined would be possible. She was able to introduce him to the world of ballet and provide him the opportunity to audition for the prestigious School of American Ballet (SAB).
What unfolds in Dancing Across Borders is a negotiation between Sy and the world of American ballet and culture—from the serene countryside of Southeast Asia to the halls of New York’s School of American Ballet to the stage of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. The film follows his training and development as a dancer through footage that was shot originally to inform his parents of his progress in America, and it offers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of ballet.
The film also features a remarkable real-life cast of performers and others involved in the arts, including Olga Kostritzky, Jock Soto, Peter Boal, and Philip Glass.
For additional information about the film, see the website http://www.dancingacrossborders.net/.
About the FilmmakerAnne Bass has a long history of involvement in the arts and Cambodia. She has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committees of the Fort Worth Ballet (where she founded the company’s ballet school), the New York City Ballet, the School of American Ballet, and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. She is also on the board of the American Friends of the Paris Opera Ballet. In Cambodia, Bass is vice president of the board of the Center for Khmer Studies. In 2006, working with the Center and with The Jerome Robbins Dance Division of the New York Public Library, she created the Khmer Dance Project, which will film and document the dance of the Khmer people as it is practiced and remembered by Khmer dancers today. An Italian major, Bass is a 1963 graduate of Vassar College and a former member of the college's Board of Trustees. She was a contributing editor of Vogue and House and Garden as well as a member of President Reagan’s Task Force on the Arts. Dancing Across Borders is her first film.
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