500-artist heritage event set for Nov 26

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The Lakhon will be performed by approximately 200 artists. PHOTO SUPPLIED

A group of roughly 500 artists will be doing a large-scale cultural performance over the course of two days at the end of November in Phnom Penh called the “Great Lakhon Khol Show” to celebrate the fifth annual Heritage Day.

According to Sup Sakara, the chief organiser of the event and the director of the Funan Art School, the group regularly organises performances to celebrate the anniversary of the inclusion of traditional Khmer culture on the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity compiled by UNESCO.

“On November 26-27, from 9am to 8pm at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre, there will be a series of performances to celebrate the fifth World Heritage Day, after it was suspended during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Sakra. “There will be about 500 artists performing the Lakhon Khol, Lakhoun Sbek Thom, classical dance and playing the chapey dong veng.”

“The Lakhon will be performed by approximately 200 artists,” she said.

According to the organisers, the programme is designed to give young Cambodians a better understanding of each ancient art form in order to inspire them to love the precious cultural heritage of Cambodia and participate in conserving and protecting it.

On the morning of November 24, there will be a commemoration ceremony for the teachers of the 500 artists and they will be rehearsing from the afternoon until evening to get ready for the performances on November 26-27.

“Apart from the artistic performances, there is also a special martial arts performance by the bokator group from Pich Charnai’s Chey Techas Bokator school and exhibitions of various works of Khmer art, bokator and ancient weapons too,” said Sakara.

Tickets for the event cost 20,000 to 60,000 riel depending on the type.

Cambodia’s entries on the intangible cultural heritage list were all added in the month of November in past years: Lakhon Khol was listed on November 28, 2018; chapey dong veng music on November 30, 2016; Lakhon Sbek Thom on November 25, 2005 and the Royal Ballet on November 7, 2003.