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Photographer's Note

This was taken at the Apsara Theater / Restaurant in Angkor Village. Every evening, several traditional dances are performed at this richly decorated venue after the guests, seated at long tables, finish having a special dinner sampling various Khmer dishes (please see workshop image for an interior view of the theater).

Accompanied by a traditional orchestra during their performance, the dancers display a repertory of gestures which they have mastered after a long and difficult apprenticeship as young students. Together with the daily exercises completed in order to fully stretch their hand muscles, the students also become "fluent" in a complicated language involving different positions and gestures.

With their dances, the performers tell centuries-old stories, some of them also featuring Khmer apsaras, the celestial nymphs which are half-goddess and half-human, but always beautiful...

The gesture of the dancer in this photo is called "kbach trouy" in Khmer, symbolising a flower bud soon to become a beautiful flower...

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Additional Photos by Demet Aziz (demeter) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 10 W: 4 N: 10] (95)
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