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Cambodian Folktales




Angkor Wat

Picture gallery

Flash movie

To learn more Cambodian Dances, check out this site!

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Magic Scarf Dance

Cambodia is composed of different ethnic group, this one dance is called "The Magic Scarf " shows Moslem influence" .

Click to hear a sample of Court Music


An Apsara Dancer from the 20th century Apsara from the 8th century
A modern Apsara dancer vs an 8th century one from the wall carvings of Angkor Wat
     D ance play important roles in Cambodian culture, dating as far back to the 7th century, dances were often performed in religious and court ceremonies. here are two major forms of Cambodian dancing, classical and traditional.

           Classical dance evolved during the Angkorean period in the 7th century. At heart of the classical dance is the Apsara. Its particular unique style is purely Cambodian, the graceful movements of the apsara dancers, adorned with gold headresses and silken tunics and skirts, are carved from on the walls of many of the temples of Angkor Wat. According to Hindu mythology, Apsaras are said to have been born during The Churning of the Ocean of Milk, the act of creation in which gods and demons acquired their immortality.

Dancers pose in court dance costumes

Master Dancers, Mmes Saroeum Tes and Rattana Chhin poses in Court Dance costumes

          The older more traditional form has roots in primitive magic, the worship of the spirits of the trees, and other natural things. Many dances involve the depiction of early myths, a popular one is the performance of the Ramayana, a Hindu Epic even longer than the Odyssey. These dances differ from the strict structure of the classical and were meant for the common people. They depict scenes from everyday life such as rice harvesting, fishing and wine making just to name a few. Troupes of dancers travel from village to villages, performing dances as well as plays inspired by folktales. The Nymph and the Giant and the Legend of Cambodia are also popular subjects.

          Dance is an important part of any culture and Cambodians have been trying to preserve this expressive art form since most of the perfomers perished during the the Khmer Rouge era 1975-1983. A restoration program is underway both inside the country and abroad to to maintain this old time tradition.

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Cambodian Folktales created by Ithara Phlong,

last modified: December 15, 2000