Hailed by H.M. King Sihamoni of Cambodia as a “highly talented and spiritual” dance troupe, 30 extraordinary young artists are embarking on the Sacred Dancers of Angkor US Tour to perform rare classical, folk and sacred Khmer dance and music. Their mission is to bridge the Cambodian-Americans to their Motherland during the Holy Month of Remembrance of the Ancestors (Pchum Ben which starts on September 20) and to raise awareness about the Cambodian dance. The tour is endorsed and supported by King Norodom Sihamoni, the Cambodian Government and the UNESCO Office in Phnom Penh and is placed under the Auspices of Princess Norodom Boppha Devi.
“Cambodian royal dances, the admirable artistic tradition and all the indigenous past they represent are seriously threatened due to the very evolution of Cambodia and Western progress.” These prophetic words could have been written at any time, but they were actually penned in 1928 by George Groslier, founder and director of the National Museum in Phnom Penh. See dozens of these rare photos, recently revealed by the National Museum of Cambodia.
Cambodian dancers from the Conservatoire NKFC Preah Ream Buppha Devi re-sanctify Bayon temple in Angkor with a sacred dance ritual.
Inside the quiet Buddhist pagoda of Wat Bo, visitors witness a royally sanctioned troupe performing ancient rituals of Cambodian dance in Siem Reap..
At Preah Vihear temple, a religious ceremony of rare intensity took place when 62 young girls danced a sacred ritual to pray for peace.
The National Museum of Cambodia hosted a special photo exhibit with dazzling images of Cambodian dance by Swedish photographer Anders Jiras.
Cambodian Princess Buppha Devi, royal embodiment of the royal dance tradition, is interviewed by author Lucretia Stewart in this article titled “Dance of the Gods.”
In Paris, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia performs an extraordinary Hindu legend of creation featuring Amrita, the nectar of immortality.
An ancient Khmer image of a Tantric yogini –beautiful, wildly fierce sacred women– is a clue to Tantric rituals in Cambodian and Thailand.
Roland Meyer arrived in French Indochina in 1907 to write his historical epic, Saramani Khmer Dancer, about a Cambodian romance.