On Saturday 16th June 2018, as promised two years ago, Prince Giuseppe Grifeo di Partanna decided to gather some friends once again in the Castle of his ancestors in Partanna, Sicily. Thanks to Dottore Domenico de Gennaro and the “Il MedioEvo” Association, the funds reunited in occasion of this Gala Dinner will be used to restore two wonderful masterpieces of Sicilian XVIIIth Century.
Before dinner, Prince Giuseppe Grifeo di Partanna invited Maestro Vincenzo Marrone d’Alberti, togetehr with his talented young student, Maesto Luca Lione to play romantic pieces of Chopin, Lizst and Brahms and my emotion was at its utmost level, when I heard the notes of Ravel’s “Ma Mère l’Oye”, a surprise for Prince Grifeo (who particularly appreciates this piece of music) but also for me, as Ravel composed it right after attending the performance of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia at Pré Catelan in Summer 1906, following King Sisowath in state visit.
The funds gathered two years ago served to restore a magnificent statue of San Giovanni Battista, a glory of Sicilian medieval wood sculpture tradition.
Many friends of Prince Giuseppe Grifeo di Partanna have participated with enthusiasm to this prestigious Gala evening and the celebration went on, until late into the summer night, among laughs and joyful jokes of a merry company, who promised to do it again very soon !
Needless to say that this enchanting evening is still alive in our hearts and we are looking forward to going back to this lovely area of the Beautiful Sicily.
All my gratitude and sincere thanks to our marvellous photographer, Mr. Angelo Campus.
“Métamorphoses” or Neang Waddhana Devi, an article by Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, published in “L’Opera International Magazine”, June 2018, in Italian language on the last tournée of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Switzerland and France in May 2018.
To be noted the marvellous photos taken by Swiss photographer, Helmut Stampfli.
In 1906, His Majesty King Sisowath brought the Royal Ballet of Cambodia to France. The dancers were under the direction of the King’s favourite daughter, Her Royal Highness Princess Sisowath Somphady (1865 – 193…). She really impressed everyone, especially the journalists. Rodin, himself, draws a portrait of the almighty princess.
Paris. Princess Buppha Devi (her name means Goddess of Flowers), daughter of the “Premier” of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk and First Dancer of the Royal Ballet of Phnom Penh stepped down from the plane ( in the centre) , followed by her fellow dancers. Princess Buppha Devi came to Paris to perform at the Opera for De Gaulle and her father, Prince Sihanouk in official visit in France. The “Goddess of Flowers” is twenty one years old and only 1,40 meter high. One year ago, she married in second wedding, Bruno Forsinetti, 21, son of the Ambassador of Italy in Cambodia.
In March 2013, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia was invited by the Printemps des Arts to perform in Monaco. Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi led the delegation, seconded by His Royal Highness Prince Sisowath Tesso. Their Serene Hignesses Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended the Première and Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanovre attended the Gala Evening.
On this occasion, my dear friend, French photographer Alain Hanel, as the official photographer of the Printemps des Arts shooted marvellous pictures of the dancers on stage and he decided to set up an exhibition of his works in Monaco.
His son Julien Pierre Hanel gave the magic touch to the photos by re-working graphically with the utmost modern techniques to render the glimpses of fantasy and glitters, characteristical of the Cambodia Royal Ballet.
This initiative was definitely supported by the famous brand of French supermarkets, Carrefour and their Foundation for Arts. Mrs. Marie Madeleine Liesse and her Responsible for Marketing, Mr. Hubert Dupont-Sonneville were enthusiastic promoters and this is how we ended on 9th March 2017 enjoying this exclusive venue in one of the main Shopping Mall of Monaco.
The Apsaras will continue their enchanting dances on the walls of Fontvieille until 7th April 2017.
In summer 1964, HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi went on a successful tournée, following Her Father, HRH Prince Norodom Sihanouk in a State Visit in France. This was the first time the Royal Ballet of Cambodia was granted the Opera de Paris as a privileged stage, before the Theatre Sarah Bernhardt (Théâtre de la Ville nowadays).
Obviously, the Italian journalists’ attention was taken by the young couple, HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi and Bruno Forsinetti. They were young, beautiful and their story really resembled a fairy tale. Here is the article, which was published in « Tempo », n°29, 18 July 1964