Shadow Theatre in Cambodia
Shadow Theatre; Nang Sbek (shadow theatre) (or Lkhaon Nang Sbek is closely related to the Nang Yai of Thailand, Wayang of Malaysia and Indonesia like the Islands of Java and Bali, thus implying that Bang Sbek may have came from an Indonesian or Malaysian origin from many centuries ago. Nang Sbek is also a dying art form and may disappear because of the decline in popularity over the years with the introduction of modern entertainment. Before the spread of modern technology such as movies, videos, and television the Khmers enjoyed and watch shadow theatre apart from the other sources of entertainment available around during that time. There are three kinds of shadow theatre in Cambodia.
Nang Sbek Thom is an art that involves mime, song, music and having to dance as well as narration to the accompaniment of the Pinpeat orchestra.It mainly features the Reamker. Nang Sbek Touch also called nang Kalun and sometimes called Ayang (small shadow theatre) uses smaller puppets and a wide range of stories. Sbek Paor (coloured puppet theatre) uses colored leather puppets.
Cinema in Cambodia began in the 1950s; King Norodom Sihanouk himself was an avid film enthusiast. Many films were being screened in theatres throughout the country by the 1960s, which are regarded as the “golden age”. After a decline during the Khmer Rouge regime, competition from video and television has meant that the Cambodian film industry is relatively weak today.