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Pictures | Fri Jan 4, 2019 | 4:20pm GMT

Dance drama declared UNESCO heritage

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of masked theater known as Khon at the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok, Thailand November 7, 2018. The dance was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, as an intangible cultural heritage, along with neighboring Cambodia's version of the dance known as Lakhon Khol.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of masked theater known as Khon at the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok, Thailand November 7, 2018. The dance was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, as an intangible...more

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of masked theater known as Khon at the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok, Thailand November 7, 2018. The dance was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, as an intangible cultural heritage, along with neighboring Cambodia's version of the dance known as Lakhon Khol. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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Dancers are seen on stage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. There are different variations in Southeast Asia, all featuring dancers wearing elaborate painted masks depicting the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic poem in which a prince rescues his wife from a demon with help from an army of monkeys.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Dancers are seen on stage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. There are different variations in Southeast Asia, all featuring dancers wearing elaborate painted masks depicting the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic poem in which a prince...more

Dancers are seen on stage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. There are different variations in Southeast Asia, all featuring dancers wearing elaborate painted masks depicting the Ramayana, a Sanskrit epic poem in which a prince rescues his wife from a demon with help from an army of monkeys. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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A dancer performs a masked theatre known as Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodia's centuries-old tradition of masked dance was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge's "Killing Fields" regime, but a handful of artists managed to keep it alive and are now working to pass it along to a new generation.

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A dancer performs a masked theatre known as Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodia's centuries-old tradition of masked dance was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge's "Killing Fields" regime, but a...more

A dancer performs a masked theatre known as Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodia's centuries-old tradition of masked dance was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge's "Killing Fields" regime, but a handful of artists managed to keep it alive and are now working to pass it along to a new generation. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia - who scorned most art as decadent - banned its study in the 1970s. The art form is still struggling to recover from the genocidal 1975-79 rule, in which at least 1.7 million people, including artists, dancers and writers, died, mostly from starvation, overwork, disease, execution or torture.

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia - who scorned most art as decadent - banned its study in the 1970s. The art form is...more

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol at the Wat Svay Andet buddhist temple in Kandal province, Cambodia. The ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia - who scorned most art as decadent - banned its study in the 1970s. The art form is still struggling to recover from the genocidal 1975-79 rule, in which at least 1.7 million people, including artists, dancers and writers, died, mostly from starvation, overwork, disease, execution or torture. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A dancer poses backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's Khon tradition, originally centered on the royal court, is now taught by many schools and universities.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A dancer poses backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's Khon tradition, originally centered on the royal court, is now taught by many schools and universities. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A dancer poses backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's Khon tradition, originally centered on the royal court, is now taught by many schools and universities. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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Dancers perform Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Ahead of a recent rehearsal, students stretched their legs and hands at the troupe's a newly built theater at Wat Svay Andet, a Buddhist temple outside the capital, Phnom Penh. Pum Pork, 49, said his 11-year-old son, Pum Meta, was attending the dance class. "I want to have my son trained to perform so that in the future we won't lose the ancient art," he said.

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Dancers perform Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Ahead of a recent rehearsal, students stretched their legs and hands at the troupe's a newly built theater at Wat Svay Andet, a Buddhist temple outside the capital, Phnom Penh. Pum Pork, 49,...more

Dancers perform Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Ahead of a recent rehearsal, students stretched their legs and hands at the troupe's a newly built theater at Wat Svay Andet, a Buddhist temple outside the capital, Phnom Penh. Pum Pork, 49, said his 11-year-old son, Pum Meta, was attending the dance class. "I want to have my son trained to perform so that in the future we won't lose the ancient art," he said. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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A dancer waits backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's version of the dance has fared better than its neighbor's, but practitioners still depend on recruiting a new generation of performers.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A dancer waits backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's version of the dance has fared better than its neighbor's, but practitioners still depend on recruiting a new generation of performers. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

A dancer waits backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's version of the dance has fared better than its neighbor's, but practitioners still depend on recruiting a new generation of performers. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, said that the dance needed immediate preservation and urged all people to get involved. "Elderly performers are trying to preserve the dance at this Wat Svay Andet," Phoeurng Sackona told Reuters. "But it is up to young people whether they agree or not to receive knowledge from the elders."

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, said that the dance needed immediate preservation and urged all people to get involved. "Elderly...more

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, said that the dance needed immediate preservation and urged all people to get involved. "Elderly performers are trying to preserve the dance at this Wat Svay Andet," Phoeurng Sackona told Reuters. "But it is up to young people whether they agree or not to receive knowledge from the elders." REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Mom Luang Pongsawad Sukhasvasti, 67, hand-fashions Khon masks from his home studio north of Bangkok. Each mask takes a month to produce, from molding the plaster to drawing the intricate details. Pongsawad said the UNESCO listing could boost awareness. "Teachers now must do more than teaching the dance," he said. "They need to help students understand the roots as well to preserve it." 

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Mom Luang Pongsawad Sukhasvasti, 67, hand-fashions Khon masks from his home studio north of Bangkok. Each mask takes a month to produce, from molding the plaster to...more

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. Mom Luang Pongsawad Sukhasvasti, 67, hand-fashions Khon masks from his home studio north of Bangkok. Each mask takes a month to produce, from molding the plaster to drawing the intricate details. Pongsawad said the UNESCO listing could boost awareness. "Teachers now must do more than teaching the dance," he said. "They need to help students understand the roots as well to preserve it." REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Dancers walk behind the curtain on stage after a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers walk behind the curtain on stage after a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers walk behind the curtain on stage after a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers get ready backstage before a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. 

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

A dancer gets ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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Dancers get ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia.

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Dancers get ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. REUTERS/Samrang Pring

Dancers get ready before a performance of Lakhon Khol in Kandal province, Cambodia. REUTERS/Samrang Pring
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Dancers wait backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand.

REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers wait backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Dancers wait backstage during a performance of Khon in Bangkok, Thailand. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
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