Cambodian Dance comprises two main categories: classical dance and folk dance, each of which contain several dozen dances.
Khmer classical dance
Khmer classical dance, also known as Khmer royal ballet or Khmer court dance, is a form of Cambodia dance originally performed only for royalty. It is called robam preah reachea trop in the Khmer language, which means 'dances of royal wealth.'
The dances have many elements in common with Thai classical dance, most likely a result of the royal Khmer court exchanging culture with the royal Thai court throughout the post-Angkor era. Khmer and Thai classical dance costumes once looked very similar to each other, but Khmer dance and costume have gone under slight changes and reforms brought on by the former Queen of Cambodia, Kossamak Nearireath. During the mid-20th century, it was introduced to the public where it now remains a celebrated icon of Khmer culture, often being performed during public events, holidays, and for tourists visiting Cambodia.
Folk dances here refer to a performing art where it is performed for an audience. Khmer folk dances are fast-paced. The movements and gestures are not as stylized as Khmer classical dance. Folk dancers wear clothes of the people they are portraying such as Chams, hill tribes, farmers, and peasants. Some folk dances are about love, or are folktales about animals. The folk dance music is played by a mahori orchestra, which is similar to a pinpeat orchestra except that it contains many stringed and plucked instruments and a type of flute in place of the sralai (an oboe-like instrument).