Myanmar Dance History

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Myanmar Dance History

 

The first recorded instance of the existence of Myanmar music and dances dating back to 802 A.D. The Pyu or the ancient Myanmars sang songs containing Sanskrit words and went through spelling dances, lining up in a pattern which read "Nancho sends holy music".

Dr. Htin Aung, the author of "Burmese Drama", outlined that music and dancing arose out of primitive religious rituals as in other countries.

According to these aforementioned historical facts, concrete evidence to support the fact that there were accomplished artistes in the Pyu city of Srikshetra was obtained by the discovery at the site of small bronze figures, each 4.5 inches in height.

One is a flute player plus a drummer,

a cymbal clapper and a dancer. The fifth figure which is half the size of the first four looks like a dwarf clown carrying a sack on its back. The heads are large for the size of the figures but the bodies are of fine proportion.

They are well dressed and bedecked with ornaments. All of them assume most animating postures in consonance with the performances they are engaged in.

The earliest evidences of traditional dances

are revealed from the old records and the excavated antiques. This shows that Myanmar dances have been firmly established in Pyu period. Pyu instrumental music, vocal music, dance and choreography reached the stage of a highly flourished culture, paving the way to dance forms of the forthcoming periods in Myanmar.

These five bronze figures seemed to portray a troupe of doebat dancers -- the dancers accompanied with the music of flute, cymbal and double-headed drum.

A stone relief embossed with a figure of a dancing couple was also unearthed at the Myinbarhu Zedi before the Second World War. The dancing figures on the votive tablets of Myinbarhu Pagoda are mentioned in "Votive Tablets of Burma" part Q, written and compiled by Thiripyanchi U Mya (Rtd. Superintendent Archaeological Survey officer on Special Duty).

Myinbarhu Pagoda was built by King Duttabaung (Duttabaung Mingyi). He was also the founder. Author Text by U Ye Htut.

 


 

 

dance history
Some dance history in Yangon
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