Les danses sacrées au Cambodge / Sacred Dances in Cambodia

by Solange Thierry

A short and luminous summary of the origins of sacred dances in Cambodia, from agrarian rituals to royal court choreographies.

Danses Solange Thierry2

Type: e-book

Publisher: Collection Sources Orientales, Danses Sacrées, vol 6, éditions du Seuil, Paris

Published: 1963

Author: Solange Thierry

Pages: 30

Language : French

From Jayavarman II’s celebrations on Kulen Mountain to the recension of dancers specially attached to the rituals in Angkorean temples — one inscription mentions 615 female dancers, 18 high priests and 2,704 servants for only one temple –, sacred and entertainment dancing has been prevalent in Angkor.

The author, a specialist in dance forms through India and Asia, summarizes the different ways sacred dances in Cambodia channeled spirits, invoked fecundity and rain genies, and represented the founding epic of the Ramayana, Reamker in Khmer.


Photo: The Sacred Dancers of Angkor before a ceremony near Angkor, 2019.

Tags: dance, dancers, court dance

About the Author

Solange Thierry

Solange Thierry

A leading specialist in Southeast Asian religious history, performing and visual arts, Solange Thierry née Bernard (1921, Mehun-sur-Yevre, France — 2009) was a Curator of Phnom Penh National Museum from 1947 – 1949.

After graduating in Khmer and Siamese languages, she studied Sanskrit, Pali and Indian civilization at the College de France et the Institut de civilisation indienne. 

Professor at INALCO (Paris) and EPHE (Paris), she curated the Asian Department at the Parisian Musée de l’Homme. She also contributed during many years to the famous art review L’Oeil, of which she was the editor-in-chief until her retirement in 1997

A biographical and bibliographical notice on Solange Thierry (in Khmer and French).