Cambodia's Khmer Arts Ensemble Present The Lives of Giants

When: Sun., Oct. 2, 3 p.m. 2011

Power and vengeance never go out of style. So The Lives of Giants, Khmer Arts Ensemble's spectacular tale of retribution told in dance, is as relevant today as it was in ancient times. The theme is a natural fit for the Cambodian company: The Khmer Rouge nearly obliterated Cambodia's historic performing arts in the 1970s, and as the troupe restores and advances the nation's thousand-year heritage of music and dance, it achieves a certain poetic justice. But the performers are also modern artists, and they weave tradition with innovation in gesture, partnering, and costumes to tell the story of Akaeng Khameaso, a humiliated giant who wreaks havoc in the heavens on his quest for revenge. The allegory on corruption, arrogance, and injustice makes its West Coast premiere on Sunday, Oct. 2, at Zellerbach Hall (Bancroft Way at Dana St., Berkeley). 3 p.m., $20-$52. 510-642-9988 or

Claudia Bauer

Price: $20

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