PM Hun Sen Congratulates 17th Anniversary of Preah Reach Troap Dance’s Listing as Intangible Heritage of Humanity

AKP Phnom Penh, November 07, 2020 —

Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has expressed his congratulations on the 17th anniversary of the proclamation of Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

“Nov. 7 marks the 17th anniversary of the registration of the ‘Royal Ballet’ which is a priceless heritage of the Kingdom of Cambodia that has been preserved for a long time until now,” said the Premier in a Facebook message this morning.

Preah Reach Troap Dance (Royal Ballet) was proclaimed masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003. As described by UNESCO, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, or Khmer Classical Dance, is famous for its graceful hand gestures and its splendid costumes, closely associated with the royal court during more than one millennium, embodies values of refinement and spirituality characteristics of the Khmer culture. The Performances of the Royal Ballet took place within the framework of various rites associated with the royal power and the prestige of the country.

The codified gestures and poses that dancers must master require many years of intensive training. An orchestra performing sacred music accompanies the dancers and a female chorus provides running commentary on the plot and the emotions mimed by the dancers. The characteristic of Khmer choreography is that the dance does not have fixed gestures, but figures in perpetual movement, which gives a single fluidity in Asia. Musicians and chorus-singers accompany the gracious evolutions by the dancers, wearing embroidered wire clothes of gold and splendid jewels. This makes the Royal Ballet of Cambodia too original to merge with others.

Other Cambodian heritages registered so far on the World Heritage List include the Historic Site of Angkor inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1992, Lakhon Sbek Thom (big shadow puppet) proclaimed masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2005, the 11th-century Preah Vihear Temple listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, Teanh Prot (tug-of-war), a popular recreational game, named an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015, Chapei Dang Veng, a Cambodian two-stringed, long-necked guitar, inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2016, Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex registered as a World Heritage Site in 2017, and Lkhon Khol Wat Svay Andet recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2018.

By C. Nika