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"Dancing Across Borders," a documentary film that chronicles a young man’s journey from Cambodia to ballet stages in the United States, will be screened on March 31, 2010.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—The documentary film Dancing Across Borders, about a young man’s journey from Cambodia to life as a professional ballet dancer in the United States, will be screened at Vassar College on Wednesday, March 31. Free and open to the public, the screening will  begin at 4:00 pm in the Rosenwald Film Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. The film’s director and producer Anne Bass, a graduate of the Vassar College class of 1963, will appear at the screening and discuss the film.
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 Filmmaker

Anne 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.
Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available at www.vassar.edu/directions.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, March 15, 2010