Reviews - What do customers think about Cambodian Dance: Celebration of the Gods?
This book is much appreciated Jul 1, 2009
Having discovered this dance form some years ago on Ovation TV, I have spent a lot of fruitless hours trying to learn about the origins and meaning of traditional Khmer dance. There have been few or no books available, no performance DVD's that I've been able to find, and precious little on the internet. I have seen a few live performances which were magnificent.
This book is one of two books to have recently come out on this subject. The other is more than $150, so I ordered this one.
This is the kind of resource I've been looking for. The scope of the book is wide, including some Khmer and Cambodian history, the origins and evolution of the dances, the costumes, poses, hand gestures, famous performers, and the involvement of the Cambodian Royal family. The author had access to many of the figures in Cambodian dance today. The breadth of the topics means that the book is really a starting point for understanding this art. If you take the book on that level, it is really well done.
There are a lot of images in the book, some are photos, others are prints and historical representation. There are some great photos of the dancers, their costumes and specific dance positions and poses. Most of the photos are high quality, but there are some that have that high-school-text-book-from-the-60's look, with very grainy texture and bad color reproduction.
I highly recommend this book. It won't give you everything on this rich and complex subject, but it will give you a good grounding. This dance form is very beautiful and worth learning about, but has been under the radar for many people. I hope that this book inspires people to find out about Cambodian dance and to support it.