The Mermaid Dance is a KhmerIt intrigues us with the abduction of a queen, her rescue by an army general, and the mischievousness of a beautiful golden mermaid. The monkey general falls in love with the lovely mermaid and wins her over to be a partner against evil.
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The Khmer Mermaid Dance is one of the many Khmer dances taught by Master Teachers at the Angkor Dance Troupe. Check out our currentto see how you can participate in one of our activities.
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In the Indian epic, the Ramayana, called Reamker (Ree-um-Kay) in Khmer, the Queen Sita was captured and taken to the Kingdom of Lanka, far out to sea. The King Rama calls on a famous army general named Hanuman, the White Monkey, to help him rescue his queen.
Hanuman and his army of monkeys set about to build a bridge across the ocean to rescue the queen. But, as fast as they pile up stones for the bridge, the stones mysteriously disappear. The White Monkey general dives into the sea to investigate. What he discovers is a beautiful golden mermaid named Sovann Maccha, who has been carrying off the stones in an act of playful vandalism. Hanuman confronts the beautiful, but troublesome, mermaid. He can’t help but be dazzled by her beauty and falls in love. Although she initially resists, Hanuman uses a variety of tactics to get her attention and eventually, as the story goes on, he wins her over as his partner in the fight against evil.
The beauty and exquisite appearance of each dancer in the Mermaid Dance is preceded by an elaborate preparation time where each dancer prepares not only physically but mentally for the role they will perform. Take a sneak peak backstage to view how master teachers prepare performers to dance the Mermaid Dance.
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Learn more about the costuming through the manywe offer to youth.
Each hand gesture signifies something different and is often performed in unison with other gestures, often in a very specific order. Many dances use common gestures.
as you learn more about the beauty and the story of the dance.