Frequent question: What is Khmer dance?

What is the role of dance in Cambodian culture?

People in Cambodia use dance to show the divine power, celebrate the social events, and create laughter in daily life. Cambodian dance can be divided into three different categories: Khmer Classical Dance, Folk Dance, and Vernacular Dance.

Why do people do the Apsara dance?

According to Hindu mythology, Apsaras were beautiful female creatures that descended from heaven to entertain Gods and Kings with their dance. As the Apsara dance is extremely complex, Cambodian children (particularly girls) are trained from a very young age to get enough flexibility to execute intricate movements.

What do Cambodian dancers wear?

Dance attire in Khmer classical dance is extremely decorative. It consists of a sampot sarabap metallic thread sarong wrapped around the lower body, then pleated into a band in the front and secured with a gold or brass belt. Worn over the left shoulder is an extensively embroidered shawl-like garment .

How do Cambodian dancers train their hands?

They must train their fingers by holding the position for longer and longer, sometimes even hours, which is why Khmer dancing is so unique, and such a privilege to see.

Is Cambodian dance taught today?

Dance masters from the Thai court are known to have trained the Cambodian Royal ballet even during the period of Rama I (1782–1809), and the co-operation of the Cambodian and Thailand’s National dance companies still continues today.

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What does apsara mean in Khmer?

Meaning ‘water nymph’ or ‘celestial spirit’, the Apsara is deeply rooted in ancient Indian mythology. Legend has it that these beautiful, divine beings would descend from the heavens to entertain gods and kings with their captivating dance and charm.