Cambodian Dance can be divided into three main categories: classical dance, folk dances, and vernacular dances.
Khmer classical dance is a form of Cambodian dance originally performed only for royalty. The dances have many elements in common with Thai classical dance. During the mid-20th century, it was introduced to the public where it now remains a celebrated icon of Khmer culture, often being performed during public events, holidays, and for tourists visiting Cambodia.this classical Dance is famous for its using of hands and feet to express emotion which known as there are 4,000 different gestures in this type of dance. Provided as repeating a golden age in 1960s, Khmer Classical Dance also known as The Royal Ballet of Cambodia after select as UNESCO‘s Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, has led one of its dance to be an outstanding dance of all for culture and society. Reamker, a khmer version of Indian, Ramayana had influenced strongly to Khmer classical dance. It involved in khmer gesture, movement and story line.The dance that divided from Reamker Dance known as Robam Sovann Macha and Robam Moni Mekala. In Facts, all of Dance reminded the audience of celestial dance which is an angel or Apsara in Sansrit mythology in goal of bringing the good luck and success to the viewer. The Classical dance is create by the heart of high art as the performer is decorated with themselves with a branches of jewellry.
Apsara Dance, a khmer dance that has survived since the Angkor Era, has been singled out to attract foreign tourists and to make the richness of Khmer culture known to the world. Apsara Dance was promoted by Princess Norodom Buppha Devi before the Khmer Rouge times and recently has received an award as one of the main symbols of Cambodia.
Khmer folk dances, which are performed for audiences, are fast-paced. The movements and gestures are not as stylized as Khmer classical dance. Folk dancers wear clothes of the people they are portraying such as Chams, hill tribes, farmers, and peasants. The folk dance music is played by a mahori orchestra.
Cambodian vernacular dances (or social dances) are those danced at social gatherings. Such dances include Romvong, Rom Kbach, Rom Saravan, and Lam Leav. Some of these dances have much influence from the traditional dances of Laos. But Rom Kbach, for example, take heavily from the classical dance of the royal court. Other social dances from around the world have influenced Cambodian social culture including the Cha-cha, Bolero, and the Madison