top of page
The Apsara herself, far from being simply a random name chosen for the dance, is actually a spirit or angel representing water and clouds — which translates within the fluidity of the dance. in Hindu and Buddhist culture.
Apsara dancing is at the heart of classical Khmer dance and it goes back to the time of Suryavarman II (1113-1145), a Khmer king and the builder of Angkor Wat. The art was performed only for the royal ancestors.
They figure prominently in the sculpture, dance, literature and painting of many Khmer temples.
The costumes of the apsara role is based on the devatas as depicted on bas-relief of Angkor Wat. They wear a sampot sarabap, a type of silk brocade that is intricately pleated in the front.
Apsara dance is known and recognized equally well around the world for its ornate costumes and headpieces. Many of the silk drapings (called sampot sarabap) and golden headpieces are modeled directly after the carvings of Angkor Wat
The lead dancer’s headpiece will have five points, while supporting dancers usually have only three. The principal dancer’s dress may also be in a different, brighter shade to set her apart.
The headdress of the lead apsara has three points or tips, with two rows of spherical decorations like the apsara pictured at Angkor Wat.
STEP AND MOVEMENT
bottom of page