THE FLYING PALACES OF ANGKOR by Shaun MacLoughlin

   THE PROLOGUE

Music 1. "Prologue"

On the screen we see a map of the turning world.  As the globe comes to rest over South East Asia we zoom in to Cambodia, to the Tonle Sap, to many temples, which appear to fly out of the sky to land on the earth.

Fade music and we hear the voice of Maha Eysei (who acts as narrator, in time with the above moving graphics)

MAHA EYSEI: Welcome to Cambodia, to the great inland sea the Tonle Sap, to the Flying Palaces of Angkor and to the greatest of them all, the largest religious building in the world, Angkor Wat.

We see a spear thrown - dramatically - at a particular spot, out of which merges the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat.

We shall explain the meaning of the spear, a vital part of the many creations myths of Cambodia and we shall tell you of the legends, the religion and the history of one of the world's greatest empires.
Shadow Puppet
Picture 2:
Shadow Puppet
Music 2. "Homage to Buddha and the Hindu Gods"

In the half light the players enter in simple white shirts and coloured Kben (traditional pantaloons), with coloured sashes at the waist. Some of them carry leather cut outs of figures of Maha Eysei, Shiva, Preah Ream and Reab and place them either side of the screen. Then they line up in V formation, kneel, place candles on the ground before them and bow with their backs to the audience.

Buddha Picture 3: Buddha from Banteay Chmar
Vishnu
Picture 4: Vishnu on Garuda, Northern pediment Central Tower Angkor Wat.
Shiva Picture 5: Shiva dancing on the head of a kala, a mythical creature, Banteay Samre.













MAHA EYSEI: We pay homage to the Lord Buddha,
To Vishnu, God, Protector and Patron of the Arts
And to Shiva, Destroyer, Creator and God of the Dance.

In time with the above, out of the darkness a back projection of the Buddha mixes to an image of Vishnu, mixes to an image of Shiva.

Hevajira
Picture 6: Hevajira

These images are from temple carvings and bas-reliefs, chosen to take us back through the religious history of Angkor.

We might also have an image of the twelfth century bronze statuette of the Tantric Hevajira, Baphuon, 11th century Bronze.


Music 3 "Creation"

KAMBU, a magnificent young man enters.

MAHA EYSEI: Honour self created Kambu.
(Invoking) He descends from the conjunction of the sun and of the moon.
And his glory rises like a star at the horizon.
He dispels ignorance.
He is accomplished in all the arts.
Apsaras
Picture 7: Apsaras
dancing on lotus flowers

The worshippers leave with their candles and all of the leather cut outs except for that of Maha Eysei. Then there is back projection of aerial shot of Angkor Wat mixing to images of flying Apsaras.

Out of this appears Mera, a most beautiful Apsara. For the moment she is still, not unlike a stone carving herself. She is dressed in white.

MAHA EYSEI: I honour Mera, the most glorious of celestial women,
(Invoking) whom Shiva gave on high as Queen to this wise man.

The cut out of Maha Eysei is removed to reveal Maha Eysei down stage left.

MAHA EYSEI: (He turns and addresses the audience.)
These invocations are taken from a tenth century, Sanskrit poem, inscribed on the temple of Baksei Chamkrong. The names Kambu and Mera are merged into Kambumera or Kampuchea or, as it called in English, Cambodia. Kambu was the first of the God Kings of Cambodia.
Cambodian Classical Dancers



Mera, the leading Apsara, is joined by six other Apsara dancers dressed in the traditional red, blue and green. They give a short dance.





MAHA EYSEI: Mera is one of the heavenly women known in Cambodia as apsaras. These divinities are models of perfect femininity, and also of the dance.

More dancing.

MAHA EYSE: A later God King, King Rajendravarman re-established the empire at Angkor in 944 A.D. To celebrate he planted a gold statue of Shiva on the summit of the temple pyramid of Baksei Chamkrong. In this way he paid respect to his ancestors, Kambu and Mera.

Pause. Mera and the other Apsaras leave the stage. Kambu remains.

The Prologue ends.

  Continue to the Creation of Cambodia.

© 2013 Shaun MacLoughlin

If you are interested in this project, please contact Shaun MacLoughlin 
at shaunmacl@yahoo.com

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