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Yike (Khmer: យីកេ, pronounced [ˈjiːkeː]) is a genre of dance drama from Cambodia with strong Cham and Malay influences. Yike is performed in nearly every province of Cambodia and by the Khmer Krom communities in southern Vietnam. The Khmer Krom have two terms for it, the yike as the rest of Khmer communities, and the yuke which is used to refer to the dance theatre also known as Lakhon Bassac. In Thailand, there is an analogous theatre called likay although it is vastly different in performance and with the music using a piphat mon ensemble instead of the rebana (or skor yike) and tro ensemble as in the Cambodian version.


Performances of the yike are often commenced with a dance performance called robam yike hom rong which is used for invocation. For the bulk of the performance however, a dancing style similar to rom kbach is lightly incorporated.

The stories are often of various Jatakas or tales of the Buddha's life. Performances of the story of Tum Teav in the yike are also common. It is performed in a circle so viewers could see it from every angle. The performances gained popularity with Cambodian farmers, thus it have changed over time into a theatrical art form to promote the teachings of Buddhism and Brahmanism.

See also


  • Abstract: Part 1: The Khmers and Cham, Historical Background and Main Artistic and Cultural Characteristics, Institute of Khmer Traditional Textile
  • The Sounds of Struggle - Relocation Efforts Threaten a Community of Artists, Cambodia Daily, February 26–27, 2005
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