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Traditional Storytelling and Dance 1960’s


Schedule
Launching: Thursday March 15, 2012 at 6:30pm
Location: French Institute, #218, Street 184, Phnom Penh

Purpose
The output of the restored edition of the exceptional record of the Reamker told by Takrut in the 1960s is an opportunity to present this epic founder of Khmer culture to the public. This will be followed by a screening of The Royal Ballet of Cambodia, a documentary filmed in the 1960s. It is proposed for the first time in Khmer with English subtitles.

Background

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia

The film The Royal Ballet of Cambodia had been shot in the early 1960’s by a US TV. It is one of the few documents which remain about the traditional Khmer ballet before Pol Pot regime. You will see the Royal Ballet of Cambodia performing a dance on the legendary origins of Angkor (the legend of Preah Ket Meala), then you will discover the school of the Royal Ballet at the Royal Palace with dance instruction, costume design and mask-making. Finally the film will show you the school graduation ceremony with Queen Sisowath Kossmak Nearirath and a solo dance by Princess Norodom Buppha Dev.

The Reamker told by Takrut

This recording from the 1960’s is the Reamker told by Takrut, a storyteller who is native of Skoun. His exceptional talent made him the most famous storyteller in Cambodia. He never used another text than the Reamker. The Reamker is the Khmer epic of the Indian Ramayana. The evolution of this story in Cambodia goes infinitely further than a change in surnames. We find ourselves in the presence of an oral epic profoundly influenced by Khmer culture. The Reamker became a great foundational epic of the Khmer people that introduced into this universe of gods and heroes its own conceptions of the world, its own history, its passion and griefs. This recording is a unique document to discover the Reamker through the traditional oral literature.



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