The Royal Ballet of Cambodia Costumes: Interview with Sylvain LIM

by Suppya Nut & Sylvain Lim

Language : Khmer

Subtitles: English

67 min.

A famed fashion designer, Sylvain Lim has always been fascinated with the rich costumes of Cambodian court dances.

While disclosing many secrets of the trade, including padding and fitting in order to avoid messing with the dancers' graceful movements, the interviewee shares several insights on the history of royal dancing. Among them, the Portuguese influence on the Siamese and Khmer visions of apsara dancers, with glittering additions.


Photos: Sylvain Lim during a workshop-conference at Phnom Penh French Institute, April 2021

About the Authors

Suppya Nut

Researcher, linguist and historian, a teaching fellow at INALCO (Paris) and the University of Cologne (Germany), Suppya Hélene Nut (1960, Phnom Penh) is the founder of the Khmer Dance Project in collaboration with the Center for Khmer Studies, the Anne Hendricks Bass Foundation and the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

A former dancer with the Khmer Classical Ballet in Paris, Suppya Nut is a leading specialist in Khmer court and traditional dance historiography. She has acted as editorial adviser to Princess Buppha Devi since 2006.

Sylvain Lim

Lim Sylvain (1951, Kep, Cambodia) has developed since his childhood a passion for Khmer traditional dance and the Apsara costumes of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia.

Exiled in France from 1972 to 1999, he worked as a fashion designer for several famous brands, and developed his own collections.

Back in Cambodia in 2000, Sylvain Lim closely worked with Princess Norodom Buppha Devi to create new costumes and accessories for the Royal Ballet of Cambodia dancers.