Friday, June 19, 2015

Saturday Snapshot

February 2015 - Siem Reap Cambodia

We attended an Apsara dance dinner and show.

As evidenced in part by the innumerable apsaras (celestial dancers) adorning the walls of Angkorian temples, traditional dance has been part of Khmer culture for well more than a millennium. 

This photo was taken at Angkor Wat earlier.

Many traditional dances were developed and refined from the 1940s-60s under the patronage of Queen Kossamak at the Conservatory of Performing Arts and the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh. Queen Kossamak trained her granddaughter Princess Bopha Devi in traditional dance from early childhood, and she went on to become the face of Khmer traditional dance in the 1950s and 60s both in Cambodia and abroad. Like so much of Cambodian art and culture, traditional dance was almost lost under the brutal repression of the Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s, only to be revived and reconstructed in the 1980s and 90s due, in large part, to the extraordinary efforts of Princess Bopha Devi.

These photos show the traditional and romantic Fishing Dance.

Folk Dance come in two forms: ceremonial and theatrical. As a general rule, only Theatrical Folk Dance is presented in public performances, with Ceremonial Folk Dances reserved for particular rituals, celebrations and holidays. Theatrical Folk Dances such as the popular Good Harvest Dance and the romantic Fishing Dance are usually adaptations of dances found in the countryside or inspired by rural life and practices. Most of the Theatrical Folk Dances were developed at RUFA in Phnom Penh in the 1960s as part of an effort to preserve and perpetuate Khmer culture and arts.

All photography on Junk Boat Travels are under copyright unless stated otherwise.

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  1. The old bas relief looks well cared for. Fascinating that the tradition has been preserved and enhanced.

  2. Very beautiful! Thank you for sharing these.

  3. What a wonderful trip you must have had! Lovely photos!

  4. Interesting! Thanks for sharing your amazing travel photos.

  5. Wow looks very interesting! I'm confused by the lady's fingers in the last photo though…

    - Linking over from Saturday Snapshots


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