These graceful girls are the Court dancers of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, a small landlocked kingdom in the former French Indo-China, territory.
Group of dancers entering Palace hall.
Dancers kneel before President Prasad.
C.U. President Prasad.
C.U. Dancer's headgear.
C.U. Dancer's face.
C.U. Head gear.
C.U. Dancers face.
C.U. Dancers feet.
C.U. President Prasad.
C.U. Crown Prince.
Monkey in Hanuman Dance.
ditto Initials Enclosed two minutes of music tape for the dance. Please return tape after use.
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Background: These graceful girls are the Court dancers of the Royal Kingdom of Laos, a small landlocked kingdom in the former French Indo-China, territory.
The occasion for their special performance is the visit to their country of the Indian President, Dr. Rajendra Prasad in a goodwill tour to Cambodia, North and South Vietnam and Laos.
At the royal palace in Vientiane, the administrative capital Laos, the Crown Prince of Laos HRH Savang Vatthans presented these charming dances to the President of India as the highlight of honours.
The heavily told embroided silk dress, glittering headwear and the graceful movement of the dancers now invoking the grace of God and now praying respects to the distinguished guest had familiar meanings to Dr. Prasad. The gold patterns on the dress, the harmony of colour and the jewels were all of Indian origin.
They came to Laos when the Buddhist religion founded in India in the Sixth Century B.C. swept through the South Far East Asian countries through the centuries.
Indian traders and Buddhist priest brought to Laos much of India thought, literature and ways of life that live in Laos today in even greater ??? than in India.
The theme of the dance too was strictly Indian. The piece was from the great Indian epic of Ramayana (pronounced ???) the hero of which is Rama (Raa-ma) the King who ennobled filial piety by accepting fourteen years of jungle life and the heroine is Sita (See-tha) who is considered the symbol of wifely virtue.
The Hanuma (ha-nu-maan) dance, also a part of the Ramayana story has found a noted place in Laotian dances. Hanuman was a man with monkey face and tail who helped Rama discover his wife Sita who was held in captivity by a powerful King called Ravana (raa-va-na). The Laotians have however given some humorous twists to the story and the Hanuman of Laos behaves very much like a monkey.
The orchestra during these royal occasions however, is purely South East Arian and some of them date back to thousands of years.
Laotians are largely untouched by modern trends - their country has not an inch of railroad. They however display both in their dances and their daily life, a sense of colour, rhythm, melody and above all hospitality and friendliness not easily found in such abundance nowadays.