On visiting Cambodia, do not hesitate to get your head out of the temples and admire Cambodia’s traditional dances. These kinds of arts will captivate you with outstanding costumes and color of. Here are four traditional dances in Cambodia that you should attend at least once on your trip to Cambodia.
Apsara Dance – The ethereal dance of the ancients
To begin with, Robam Apsara is one of the most Cambodia’s traditional dances. This dance used to be confined mainly to the courts of the royal palace.
Interestingly, the Apsara dance is inspired by the carvings in Angkor temple complex. As evidenced in by these Apsaras (celestial dancers), the dance has become part of the Khmer culture for more than a millennium.
This traditional dance is various in meaning because it constitutes a link between the different religions in Cambodia (Animism, Hinduism, and Buddhism). Indeed, every single movement of the fingers has a particular meaning. While can worship the spirits of nature by depicting a blossoming flower or refer to one of the hundreds legends of Buddhism or Hinduism. Therefore, your Cambodia tour packages will not be complete if you can’t join in the show.
Ramayana – A narrative on morality
The second type of dancing show you should attend is Ramayana (Reamker in Cambodia). This dance might have reached Cambodia through the contact with the South Indian kingdoms. Ancient Hindu temples here provide the earliest references of Ramayana and the world famous Angkor Wat temple depicts various episodes from the epic. In the Reamker, issues of trust, loyalty, love, and revenge are played out in dramatic encounters princes and giants, monkeys and mermaids, and a forlorn princess.
Coconut Shell Dance
The Coconut Shell Dance is one of the most popular and well-known folk dances. Thanks to the tropical climate, coconuts are densely grown up through out Cambodia. That’s likely the reason why coconuts embody in a Cambodian traditional art. For more details, after the meat of the coconut is carved out, Cambodian people often save the shells, polish and use them in many practical ways.
This Cambodian traditional grew out of a popular game that used the coconut shells. The game is played during weddings and engagements. The most interesting scene is especially at the time the groom is escorted in a procession to the bride’s house. In its original form, this was a one-man show. In the modern-day version, an equal number of male and female dancers perform the dance, personifying friendship and courtship.
Fishing Dance – An expression of joy and romance
Another dance which you cannot miss to include in your Cambodia tour packages is fishing dance. In general, this dance showcases the traditional methods of catching fish in Cambodia. However, the main reason why this dance plays an important role in Cambodian culture is that fishing quarter is the place for young people to meet and get to know one another.
At the beginning of the dance, young men come down to the river on one side and women from the other then they catch fish with their extreme joy. While fishing, they flirt with each other then fall in love. At the end of the dance, the group returns to tease and congratulate them. The show definitely brings a lot of exciting and relaxing moments for attendants.