Ongoing efforts to include Kayin traditional collective dance on UNESCO list

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Don choral dance (Kayin folk dance) dancers are performing at a festival.

According to an official from the association, the Kayin Literature and Culture Association is working to include the traditional Kayin folk dance, also known as Don choral dance, on the UNESCO Intangible World Cultural Heritage list.
“If it is included in the heritage list, the ethnic traditional dance will be registered as a world heritage, and all the costumes, choreographies of the dance, music, and instruments will be recognized internationally. And as they are preserved as world heritage, they may not disappear,” the official explained.
The attempt to include the Kayin traditional dance on the UNESCO Intangible World Cultural Heritage list has gained momentum. Initially, research activities were carried out in more than 20 villages where the dance is preserved to reassemble the dance choreographies of various ages. The dancers are being trained to have skills to perform all choreographies, the official said.
A group of Kayin traditional dance experts, the Kayin Literature and Culture Association, a scrutiny team and the Kayin State government have been working together for three years in their attempt to include Kayin traditional dance on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. In performing the Don choral dance, 24 to 32 male and female dancers are needed to participate, and they have to be trained for months before they can entertain the audience. — TWA/TH

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