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masked dance

Masked dance tradition rises from near extinction

PHNOM PENH/BANGKOK: Cambodia’s centuries-old tradition of masked dance was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge’s “Killing Fields” regime, but a handful of artists managed to keep it alive and are now working to pass it along to a new generation. Sun Rithy’s father and grandfather were both performers of the Lakhon Khol masked dance, but the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge - who scorned most art as decadent - banned its study when he was a child in the 1970s. Now 48, Sun Rithy leads one of the last Lakhon Khol troupes in…