Angkor Wat
khmer Ballet Dance
Khmer Shadow Theatre
Preah Vihear
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Preah Vihear
Preah Vihear
Preah Vihear

Khmer Classical Dance

Khmer Classical DanceKhmer Classical Dance, also known as Royal Ballet of Cambodia, is a form of Cambodian dance originally performed only for the royalty. During the mid-20th century, it was introduced to the public where it now remains a celebrated performing art of Khmer culture accompanying royal ceremonies and events such as coronations, marriage, funerals or Khmer holidays. Infused with a sacred and symbolic role, the dance embodies the traditional values of refinement, respect and spirituality.

Renowned for its using of hands and feet to express motions and its distinct cultural values of oral tradition and forms of cultural expression, UNESCO proclaimed the Khmer Classical Dance as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage in 2003, and inscribed it on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008. This recognition and inscription enables Cambodia to protect this invaluable intangible national cultural heritage against threats of deterioration, disappearance and destructions.

The performance is involved by a group of dancers possessing distinctive colors, costumes, makeup and mask. The gestures and poses characterize the human emotions, from fear and rage to love and joy. An orchestra accompanies the dance, and a female chorus provides a running commentary on the plot, highlighting the emotions mimed by the dancers.