Moni_Mekhala

Earth & Sky

Earth and Sky will take you on a magical journey through Cambodian mythology, ancestral traditions and village life.

With live music, talented dancers, stunning costumes, and charming stories, our show will delight visitors of all ages!

Monday – Saturday | from 7pm to 8pm
National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh

SYNOPSIS

The show opens with a prayer to masters of dance. Next, a tug-of-war between deities and demons takes place, holding on to the Naga serpent. They are interrupted by the supreme god Vishnu. He tells them about the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which produces Amrita, the secret elixir of immortality.

Among the treasures that emerge from the Ocean are celestial dancers called Apsara. As messengers of peace between Gods and Kings, Apsara use their powers to neutralize those who threaten harmony both in heaven and on earth. After peace is restored, the Apsara return to stones.

Centuries later, in a land called Cambodia, villagers gather for their daily activities while singing O’ Land of Cambodia. During the harvest season, the villagers dance the Kour Angre together, but when they go to quench their thirst they realize there is a drought.

The villagers ask the King to have the ritual dance Moni Mekhala performed to pray for rain. Here, the water goddess Moni Mekhala fights against Ream Eyso, the storm spirit. The victory of the goddess over the giant causes a thunderstorm.

After the rain falls, life re-emerges on earth, and animals including Monkeys and Peacocks – come out to celebrate with joyful dances.

The villagers arrive to catch fish, and perform the fishing dance Robam Nesat: Where there is water, there are fish, and where there are fish, there is life. A young man and woman take this as an opportunity for flirtation, but they can’t hide their romance from the other villagers for long!

As all the villagers leave, musi-cians continue to celebrate with a Chhayam Drum Dance, known for improvised call and response sin-ging. Traditionally this is per-formed by men only, but here fe-male drummers also join.

With a spirit of joy and togetherness, the musicians call for all the artists to come back on stage for the final dance which includes Bokator, the art of Cambodian boxing.

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