Have you ever listened to someone delightedly telling you a story and not realizing how badly he comes off in his own tale? That's the queasy sensation I got from the documentary Dancing Across Borders.
We get white folks ruminating lyrically on the peasant Asian's role as a kind of grand jeté bridge between East and West, and long performance sequences that are dazzling to behold but quite troubling to contemplate.
Offered only hints of life away from the barre or of Sy's relationship with his coolly poised benefactress, viewers will see either a very fortunate young man or a beautiful protégé, dancing as fast as he can to please everyone but himself.
In carefully edited clips from his Cambodian years (brief mention is made of Pol Pot's devastating influence), as well as later performances in the United States, Bass demonstrates his stunning leaps and graceful partnering.