Cambodian royal ballet dazzles in Beijing

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Dancers from the Royal Ballet of Cambodia perform in Beijing on April 28, 2018. [Photo/Xinhua]

Once performed only for royalty, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia, also known as Khmer Classical Dance, is now attracting audiences among the masses in and outside Cambodia. It has performed in many places in China since 1958, when the troupe first came to China under the invitation of then-premier Zhou Enlai.

Its repertoire perpetuates legends associated with the origins of the Khmer people. Widely considered a cultural treasure of Cambodia, the art form was inscribed in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2003. 

Talking to media ahead of the show, Feng Mi, a retired dancer with the China Oriental Performing Arts Group and an expert in Southeast Asian dances, said the dance was named as an international heritage because of its history and uniqueness. "It's filled with Buddhist elements, delicate and sacred," she said.

Saturday's show was attended by more than 500 people, including Chinese Culture and Tourism Minister Luo Shugang, Princess Bopha Devi, daughter of late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk and director of the royal ballet, and Khek Cai Mealy Sysoda, Cambodian Ambassador to China.

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