Performances at the International Symposium in Celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage


Sada Shin Noh

Royal Ballet of Cambodia

Sada Shin Noh


Information about the Performance

Inscribed in 2011
Holder Association for the preservation of Sada Shin Noh
Description at UNESCO ICH Site Sada Shin Noh
repertoire Yaegaki (Eight-folded Fence)
Synopsis pf Performance

This performance represents mythical battle of Susanou, a male deity, and eight-headed serpent. The anecdote is one of highlights of the Japanese old anthology of myths, Kojiki, and strongly recalls Japanese people of Japanese oldest poem known as “Yaegaki” (literally means eight-folded fence) and one of the three legendary family of the Imperial family.

Once upon a time, the eight-headed serpent suffered innocent people. The merciless serpent ordered a family to devote their youngest daughter as his viands. Having sacrificed all of their daughters, the parents felt completely at a loss over the cruel order. Susanou, the legendary hero, bravely decided to fight against the semi-divine monster.

The performance commences from narration of a servitor of the deity. He recites a famous phrase of the anthology to take us a journey to the mythical world. Here we witness the spectacle battle of the deity against the awful serpent. The deity first orders his servitor to put eight large pots filled with fragrant rice wine with drops of poison. This is stratagem of Susanou to contain supernatural power of the semi-divine serpent. The deity conceals himself behind the eightfold fence and waits for the serpent to drink the rice wine. As the serpent gets drunken and sinks into a profound slumber, the deity killed the monster with a lightning speed. As the serpent die, a flame buoyant sword emerges from its tail.

The mythical sword was later devoted to the imperial family. The spiritual power of the sword reportedly contributed to the great triumph of the imperial family over eastern kingdoms. According to the legend, the sword helped Yamato-takeru, crown prince, from raging fire during his conquest.

Duration 38:36

Royal Ballet Of Cambodia

The Legend of Apsara Mera

Information about the Performance

Inscribed in 2008
Holder Royal Ballet of Cambodia
Description at UNESCO ICH Site Royal Ballet of Cambodia
Repertoire The Legend of Apsara Mera
Synopsis of Performance

Here the god Vishnu, savior and protector of humans. He dances to bless the world. Vishnu calls the goddess Mohini whose magical power is great, and charge her to recover the Amrita, the elixir of immortality that Asura, King of the Giant just steal.  Mohini invokes heavenly forces to help fight Asura.

In possession of the elixir of eternity, Asura threatens the gods with extreme arrogance.  The goddess Mohini intervenes and challenges the giant Asura.  She provokes the giant and throws her crystal ball in the air, thus blinding the giant.  She succeeds in seizing the elixir of eternity from him.

From the foam produced by the churning of the Sea of Milk, emerge the Apsaras, among whom is the beautiful goddess Apsara Mera. She takes a walk in her garden of flowers, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting. She prays for peace in the kingdom and celebrates the victory of good over evil.

Duration 41:47