Esplanade Presents | da:ns festival
Rasas – Lakhaon Kaol
Lakhaon Kaol is one of Cambodia's oldest classical dance forms. Stone inscriptions from the tenth century reveal the form was originally called Phea Ny - derived from Sanskrit and meaning to tell or recite a story. Phea Ny was performed exclusively by male dancers and musicians and shares this characteristic, among others, with the present-day Lakhaon Kaol. All performers are masked except for those taking female roles.
Cambodians regard Lakhaon Kaol as a sacred art form with overtones of a religious ritual. Yet, in spite of its sacred nature, Lakhaon Kaol also serves as entertainment at special occasions within families, at monasteries and to welcome visitors to a village. It has only one narrative: the story of Reamker, the Cambodian version of the Hindu Ramayana epic which came to Cambodia in the sixth century.
Performances of Lakhaon Kaol are accompanied by the Pin Paet ensemble, the traditional Cambodian classical orchestra. The dance was traditionally performed around the time of Khmer New Year to purge the community of bad omens and as an entreaty to the gods to bring villagers happiness and fertility.
Amrita Performing Arts is an International NGO based in Phnom Penh, committed to creating Cambodian contemporary dance and theater, responding to the creative drive of a young generation of artists passionately dedicated to ushering their country's ancient performing arts heritage into the future. Founded in 2003 with a mission to help revive and preserve the wide spectrum of Cambodia's traditional performing arts, the company has evolved to focus more on contemporary creativity in theater and dance. Amrita Performing Arts produces fully staged productions of contemporary Cambodian dance and theater featuring professional Cambodian performers.
About da:ns festival
To all dance lovers and those curious, Esplanade’s da:ns festival invites you to fall in love with dance through a full-hearted celebration of movement this October. With powerful performances from around the world, exciting new creations and a wide range of opportunities to learn different kinds of dance, this 11-day festival will open your mind, lift your spirit and get your body moving.More details Less details
For information about late seating, house rules, photography and more, please refer to our general advisory.