From the perspective of the French colonialists and contemporary tour producers, Cambodian classical dance has been the star of Cambodia's performing arts, overshadowing the other theatrical forms. Yike, bassac, lakhaoun niyeay, andsbek touchall have taken second place for political as well as aesthetic reasons. During the 1990s when the United Nations and other aid agencies were helping Cambodia recover from the effects of civil war and foreign occupation, the performing arts relied heavily on foreign aid to sustain them. This essay questions both the renewed focus on the classical dance and the reliance on foreign funds for performance inside the country—and asks whether such aid will in the long term benefit the performing arts and artists or create a dependence that lessens their own initiative and local audience interaction.


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pp. 147-178
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