The Apsara Dance
Another beautiful cultural art we witnessed in Cambodia was the Apsara dancing. This classical dance-drama has been a part of the culture for over a millennium, as evident through the many depictions of Apsaras (celestial dancers) on the walls of the Angkorian temples. The dance is completely Khmer, telling stories from the Reamker (the Cambodian equivalent to the Indian stories of the Ramayana) and is characterized by ornate costumes, fingers flexed backwards and slow, deliberate flowing movements. Most of the dances have a message or story to them like the Fishing Dance which enacts a light drama of rural life and young love. Included in the performance we saw was the Apsara dance, the rain dance, the peacock dance, the fishing dance and the coconut dance.