Dance Shows in Siem Reap, Cambodia

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May 19th 2008
Published: June 21st 2017
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Geo: 13.4691, 104.041

There isn't a whole lot of night life in Siem Reap, really this town is filled with people getting up a dawn to go see the temples. After a full days touring in the hot sun most all of us are pretty spent by sunset. That being said we still have to eat. So the main thing to do in Siem Reap at night is to have dinner while watching a show. I did it almost every night. Then I collapsed in my nice air conditioned hotel room.

Cambodian traditional dance has got a lot of similar elements to Indonesian and Thai dancing, the costumes, the Gamelan orchestra (though it sounds pretty different), the hyper-extended fingers, flexed feet (I'm so used to pointed toes it's still odd to see the opposite admired in dance), the rapid eye movements, etc. The big difference, I noticed in Cambodian dance is the speed that it's all carried out in. It's like the dancers are all in slow motion. Their movements are all so deliberate and slow, they take great pains to make sure that they postures are all attained with slow precise perfection before moving on to the next one. I wonder if it's because it's so unbelievably hot here in Cambodia, I suppose it wouldn't make much sense for them to be hopping up and down here, they'd pass out in a few minutes.

I tried to get photos of the dancers in their poses. Notice how their finger tips seem to bend backwards, and their feet are always flexed. They can bring their heel up to their backside farther than it seems possible without someone pushing to help. If you think it doesn't look so hard you try it.

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


Check out this posture!Check out this posture!
Check out this posture!

Can you get your heel that high? I dare you to try to see what a ninny you look like. And see how their fingers are all bent backwards? The girl on the far right has her hand in front of the while colum so you can easily see the shape of her fingers - crazy!

Tot: 2.13s; Tpl: 0.111s; cc: 8; qc: 46; dbt: 0.0352s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 4; ; mem: 1.4mb