Traditional Khmer dance, puppetry, and music

Sovanna Phum, originally uploaded by coming2cambodia.

On Friday night Manuela (my German neighbor) and I went to Sovanna Phum. I have heard a lot about the place as a friend works there; however, I was not prepared for how beautiful the show was. The show was a huge mixture of traditional shadow puppets, Khmer traditional dances, beautifully crafted masks and costumes, comical “monkeys” (we would call them clowns), and traditional instruments. Please visit the Sovanna Phum website to learn about all the different types of traditional arts they do! It is really fascinating.

The story I saw was an adaptation of a Hindu myth. I loved the adaptation in terms of its music– they used all traditional instruments, but had a more contemporary arrangement.

Sovanna Phum is really one of the best places to see traditional arts here in Cambodia. Tickets for the night were only $5.00. My favorite part about the organization, however, was that after the show had started, they allow kids to come in from the streets free of charge and fill any seats that were empty. So many time (including in the US) if you are a child that does not come from a middle or upper class family– you never get to really see the arts. How great would it be if Nutcracker performances would fill any empty seats with inner city kids free of charge? Or if the Sunday ballet would?

Below I am adding some videos because I really don’t think that the pictures quite capture the evening. That said, I am not sure how to hide them behind a link on wordpress yet. I apologize if they take long to upload. They are all really short (5 to 15 seconds), but I hope they can give you an idea of the music and the dancing.

 

 

 

4 comments

  1. Mongkol, Welcome. I am glad that you are enjoying the site. I hope you come and visit it. Please feel free to add your perspectives, especially on the cultural stuff, because this all comes from the point of view of a barang.🙂

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