Dance & theater glossary



The Angkorian epigraphy reveals certain terms directly linked or related to dance, in Old Khmer and Sanskrit. We compile them below. They are extracted from “An Old Khmer - French - English dictionary” by Saveros Pou and “Héritage du sanskrit - Dictionnaire sanskrit-français” by Gérard Huet (Version 2.80 - February 10, 2014).


Abbreviations
Camb.  / Cambodia
Kh.
11th / Old Khmer of the eleventh century
Md / Khmer Modern
Mi / Middle
Khmer

p.a. / Pre-angkorian Khmer
Sk. / Sanskrit


A

Actor (male or female) - nātaka नाटक Sk

 

Acrobat, dancer, actor, mime - bharatá भरत Sk

B

Ballet, group of dancers: rapam, rapaṃ p.a.; peṭaka (multitude, company, group); pedānātaka rpam, pedānātta rpam p.a.

D

Dance (n.) - rnaṃ Kh.11th

Dance (v.): raṃ p.a ; rāṃ Kh.10-12throam រាំ Md

Dance hall: kralā rāṃ Kh.12th

Dancers

Dancer, actor: kārakan kārika, kārin Sk. (actor); kāri Kh.10-11thanak roam អ្នករាំ Md
Sacred dancer (male or female) - nāṭikāḥ नाटिका Sk ; rmāṃramaṃ p.a. ; rmāṃrmmāṃ Kh.Xe

Dances

Coconut dance - robam kuos traloak របាំគោះត្រលោក Md
Cosmic dance of Śiva - aticaṇḍataṇḍavayutam Sk
Fishing dance - robam nesat របាំនេសាទ Md
Pailin Peacock dance - robam kngork Pailin របាំក្ងោកប៉ៃលិន Md
Trot dance - robam trot របាំទ្រុត Md
Weaver's dance - robam chie chue របាំជៀជឿ Md

 

 

 

G

Gesture (hand gesture): mudrā sk. / litt. “seal”

S

Stick (of dancer): raṇamardana Sk.; raṇamarddaṇa ta rmmāṃ (dancer stick) Kh.11th; raṇamardda Kh.10th

T

Theater - nāṭa Sk. ; lkhonlakhon ល្ខោន Md

Theater (Great Leather) - Sbek Thom ស្បែកធំ Md

Theater (Small Leather)  - Sbek Touch ស្បែកតូច Md