Sunday, May 4, 2014

Plae Pakaa: Children of Bassac Dance Show

While in Phnom Penh we decided to check out the highly rated Plae Pakaa dance show at the National Museum just around the corner from our hotel.  We went on the night that the performance presented was a medley of dances from around the country: Children of Bassac.

Pretty cool! I definitely recommend checking out the show if you're ever in Phnom Penh.

First off, the buffalo sacrafice ceremony, kab krobey phek sra, traditionally performed by the Pnong ethnic group, asking the spirits for peace and good health for the community.  I liked the drums... kind of a dope beat, huh?

Then, the beautiful Apsara dancers (remember all the Apsara carvings at Angkor?) perform classical Cambodian dance:

Look at those headdresses!!

I love the flowers in their hair:

Next, the fishing dance, Nesat, celebrating water and the livelihoods it provides.  Also, some flirting.

Next, Sovann Machha, the golden mermaid from Reamker, the Khmer version of the Ramayana.  She's the mermaid who attempts to spoil Hanuman's attempts to build a stone bridge to Lanka.

There's the eponymous mermaid:

Hanuman is like "heyyyyyy!":

This dance is the dye-crushing dance, traditionally done at wedding ceremonies:

Phloy Suoy dance, using the phloy, a bamboo instrument.  The dance is a harvest dance meant to invoke rain for crops and bring a successful harvest:

The Krama dance, showing all the different uses for the traditional and widely used Cambodian checkered scarf, including a head covering, baby sling, towel, sarong, bag...

And, finally, the Chhayam dance, a traditional Khmer dance involving the long-drum, clackers and other noise-makers.  It's a comic dance, with funny face-paint and lots of phyisical Three Stooges-style comedy:

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