History of Myanmar Traditional Dances

Background history

The oldest physical evidence of Myanmar traditional dance antiquities excavations on the site of the city of Pyu Srikshetra. Antiquities excavated include small bronze figures of a piper, a drummer, a saucer flap, a dancer and a fifth figure that looks like a dwarf clown wearing a backpack. The heads of the characters are great, but the bodies are fine proportion. They are well dressed and decorated with ornaments, and their positions are encouraged indicating that they were engaged in the exercise. Dance is the most important and popular form of arts Myanmar show and dances are strictly traditional in form and content. Each of the many dance festivals and Myanmar was popularly known as pwe (theatrical performances.) Historically, all the actual functions began and ended with music and dance

Relevant : Myanmar Arts and Crafts

music. The dance also took place in the pagoda festivals, opening of new capital, the fighting began, or shinbyu novitiation ceremonies and weddings. Special songs are composed for special occasions and dance that accompanies it is, in most cases, improvised. Myanmar traditional dances are flexible, elegant, complex, refined and floral. Each dance movement looks like an exquisite floral design. A flower is like a dancer. The flower is at the head of the dancer. The leaves are the hands and the trunk is the body. When the breeze comes, the flower comes alive and starts to dance to music, gentle breeze. Myanmar traditional dances not only give off the unique characteristics of Myanmar’s culture, but also produce traditional innovative works.

Modern Style Dance

myanmar traditional dances

This is usually done in the rites of novitiation, agricultural festivals and traditional ceremonies charity. It is a dance band style of Byaw drums and based on Zar Moe Byaw.

U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe

shwe yoe daw moe

U Shwe Yoe dance with his comical mustache and comic movements that try to seduce the maid Daw Moe. Dancing with the rhythmic sounds of the passenger or short Dobat face double drum, cymbals and bamboo clappers. U Shwe Yoe did a good job twirling his umbrella at his most interesting performance.

Puppet Style Dances

myanmar puppet dance

Puppets or marionettes, were the main sources of traditional theatrical entertainment during the time of the kings of Myanmar and the yokebanking, or puppet theater, was also very popular in the 18th century.

Myanmar puppets are distinctive dress, style and complexity of handling. The puppets generally have 20 strings but some have up to 60, giving the puppeteers of rooms to mimic human dance moves in a strange way.

Each group consists of 28 puppets comprising a strip of animals, kings and queens, princes and courtiers, clowns. The plots are usually taken from the 550 Jataka or the Ramayana epic.

Puppeteers must be experts in not only the manipulation of puppets, but also in providing the essential accompaniment of songs and narrative.

Apyo-daw Dance

apyo daw dance

The Apyodaw dance and musical accompaniment is the purest and oldest of Myanmar traditional music and dance. It used to be usually performed by a soloist, but is now done in unison.

Dancing Portraiture

Dance Portraiture

During the reign of the ancient kings, Myanmar harp was the instrument of the most popular music with cultural dances performed in the royal apartments. Dance is a young and beautiful royal princess, gracefully falling from his golden palace in the old days. This beautiful composition shows graceful dance figures and led by a group of dancers. Ultimately, harpists show his virtuosity with orchestral accompaniment.

Relevant : Myanmar Handicrafts Trading


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