Discovering Khmer Classical Dances in live and in a book!

khmer classical dansesOn January 2019, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia organized three dance shows at the famous Chaktomuk Theater of Phnom Penh. The Sipar team was not only in the audience to admire the dancing, but also to participate in the promotion of this cultural event by launching its book entitled “Khmer Classical Danses".

Many Cambodians have limited knowledge of Khmer classical dances since they were normally only performed in the Lakhon Khol group theatre in the Royal Palace for the royal family and their guests. Khmer classical dancing was listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in November 2003.

Watching the Royal Ballet dance show was definitely a great opportunity for the residents of Phnom Penh. More than 1,500 people attended the show! The Royal Family invited Sipar to present the book entitled Khmer Classical Dance to the audience before the shows started.

Sipar’s Khmer Classical Dance Book

khmer classic dansePublished in 2018 thanks to Sipar’s sponsors, the book was written by Lucie Labbé, a French anthropologist and ethnologist. The author invites readers to further discover Khmer classical dances, with chapters highlighting the lives of the dancers, their training and gestures, the types of dances, characters and worship. This book, which is part of the “I Would Like to Know” collection, is intended for children from 12 years old as well as adults.

Sipar at the Chaktomuk Theater

Before the Saturday afternoon dance show started, Sipar organized a quiz session about Khmer classical dances and provided some great prizes for the winners. The children really enjoyed it although only one participant succeeded in the challenge!

Sipar also took the opportunity to present all its books relating to Khmer culture such as the Picture Book of Cambodia, Visiting Angkor, Wonderful New Year, Khmer History Parts 1 and 2, and The Year of the Hare Parts 1, 2 and 3, amongst others.  

The Sipar team wore special t-shirts for the occasion, with a key message to encourage every Cambodian to read more about Khmer culture. The words “Keep our culture alive, keep our language alive, read books in Khmer” were written on the t-shirts. We hope the message further spreads the importance of reading! Our team was also very honored to see loyal and devoted supporters. One of them said before going to the show, “Sipar publishes books in high quality Khmer which are well-documented, so when I read one of them, I am completely immersed in the book.”


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