Tlaitno in Khmer language means dignity, and that is what this association aims, dignifying working conditions for professional artists in Cambodia.
Tlaitno is an independent group of educated artists who love performing classical dances. It was founded in 2012 with technical support of CIAI, the Italian Association for Aid to Children, and with financial support of UNESCO. TlaiTno offers high quality original shows and also classes.
Since our first contact with them, they have been amazingly warm and generous. We have no words to express the gratitude we feel for their collaboration in our work. They have supported us in many ways: hosting us in their beautiful centre, teaching us about art in Cambodia and creating an outstanding special show to join us in the celebration of the WORLD WATER DAY.
The show drove us through the meaning and the language of the classical Apsara dances, explaining us their characteristics and their basic movements, the gestures and roles.
There are hundreds of gestures; for example, we learnt that, with the position of their hands and small movements, they were representing the cycle of a plant’s life: from the sprout, to the first leaf, then a couple more appear, later the first flower, and finally the fruit, that ripens to fall down. It is beautiful being able to understand them, and realizing that you can really see them in a very poetical and stylized way. With those subtle and precise gestures they can express as well emotions, anger, fear, love… or the courtship steps. We learnt the different roles, the man, the woman, the giant and the monkey and the secret why Apsara dancers can’t smile… it was a magical and enriching beginning of a night full of surprises.
Afterwards, they performed a five dances repertory that included different traditional and traditional dances related with water.
TEP MONOROM DANCE: the dance, often used as opening, is a traditional dance that brings peace to the audience. It talks about heavenly gods and goddesses dancing for happiness.
MINORITY: There are many minorities in Cambodia; this dance is from a tribe that lives in Ratanakiri, place full of waterfalls and rivers. This dance shows how the rain makes people happy.
BESKRAVANH DANCE: This is the harvest dance and, as all dances related to the fields, it is very related to water and rain.
TROD: This dancing piece is typical of Khmer New Year, from April 13th to 16th; this dance brings prosperity and calls the rain for the New Year.… how great it was performed that it started raining a lot, even though we are still in the middle of the dry season!!
APSARA DANCE: The piece that they performed talked about the Myth of the Ocean of Milk , the Hindu story about creation.
We usually don’t, but, in this case, we strongly recommend meeting them. Don’t miss them before leaving Siem Reap, they really worth it!