Cambodian Traditional Dances

Conventional dance is a well known fine art in Cambodia thus enormously respected that no visit to Cambodia is finished without watching no less than one Khmer customary dance execution. From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime nearly eradicated much of this traditional Cambodian art. However, significant efforts have been made to revive the ancient art. Moves in Cambodia are isolated into three principal classifications: Folk dances that depict cultural traditions, classical dances for the royal court, and social dances that are performed at social gatherings

1. Traditional dances

Robam Preah Reach Trop, or Khmer classical dance, is a highly stylized performing art form that originated in the royal courts. In the beginning, it was performed and maintained by attendants of the royal palaces to show respect for the royal courts and call upon the gods and spirits. Later then, Khmer traditional dance was promoted to people in general in the center of the twentieth hundred years.
It quickly became a symbol of Cambodian culture and was frequently performed for tourists in major tourism hubs on holidays and other special occasions. In the exhibition of exemplary dance, complicatedly costumed artists perform slow and non-literal motions, with the melodic backup of a pinpeat outfit. Dances of tribute or invocation and the performance of traditional tales and epic poems like the Ramayana make up the classical repertoire. Although there are more than ten Khmer classical dances, Apsara Dance (Robam Tep Apsara) and Blessing Dance (Robam Choun Por) are the two that are performed and are most well-known.

Dance of Apsara

The most well known type of traditional Cambodian dance is Apsara, extending back to the seventh hundred years. The images of apsara dancers carved into the walls and bas reliefs of the main temples at Angkor give tourists a general idea of the significance of the dance to ancient Khmer culture. Its foundations were tracked down in both Hindu and Buddhist legends, with the idea that Apsaras were lovely female animals that visited Earth from paradise to engage Divine beings and Rulers with their captivating dance.
The Khmer Ruler Javayarman VII in the twelfth century was said to have north of 3000 Apsara artists in his court. In order to reflect the notion that mortals are enticed by the beauty of spirits, the dance moves at a slow, hypnotic, and gentle pace. With in excess of 1500 exist, hand motions are the fundamental attributes of the dance. Each and every development of the fingers has its own unmistakable importance. Dancers are even required to bend their fingers almost to their wrists for some of the moves.
Apsara Dance is distinguished by its elaborate traditional costumes, which assist in emulating the majesty of the dancers' movements. They have stunning jeweled headdresses, elegant silk clothing with floral motifs, and sparkling jewelry like anklets, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. Khmer girls begin training at a young age to develop enough flexibility in their hands and feet to perform intricate movements due to the extreme complexity of this performing art.

Pol Pot's regime massacred Apsara dancers in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's rule from 1975 to 1979, nearly eradicating the dance. Fortunately, only a small number of surviving dancers continued the tradition by imparting their skills and knowledge to subsequent generations. When Queen Sisowath Kossomak Nearirath Serey Vatthana, the wife of King Norodom Suramarit, paid a visit to the Sothearath primary school in the 1940s, it was the most significant event that marked the beginning of Apsara Dance.

She saw the school courtesan set up a helpful Angkor Apsara dance performed by youthful younger students in the paper apsara outfit so she understood of reviving the dance. When she was just five years old, she taught her first daughter, Princess Bopha Devi, how to dance, and she went on to become the first professional Apsara dancer in the 1950s and 1960s. UNESCO designated Apsara Dance as the Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Human Heritage in 2003.
In Cambodia, the Cambodian Blessing Dance, or Robam Choun Por in Khmer, is typically performed at the start of a ceremony or special occasion. A group of young Khmer girls performs this dance in odd numbers (three to seven) to express their wishes for prosperity, happiness, success, and health. The female artists are fashionable with Khmer Traditional Imperial Artful dance ensembles to represent the Devata. Each carries a golden goblet containing jasmine, lotus, or Romdoul flowers inside. From the Khmer perspective, blossoms are a symbol of God's blessings. Dancers hold the golden goblets, pluck the blossoms, and gently toss them toward the audience with honor and a wishful wish for blessing. Their movements are charming and elegant.

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