Dance and Theater

Classical dance-drama is currently enjoying a revival in Myanmar and is occasionally performed at the National Theatre in Yangon. The most Burmese of the dances feature solo performances by female dancers who wear dresses with long white trains that they kick into the air with their heels during the foot movements.

Yokthei pwe or Burmese marionette theatre presents colorful puppets up to a meter high in a spectacle that many aesthetes consider the most expressive of all the Burmese arts. The Burmese have great respect for an expert puppeteer. A dozen or more strings may manipulate some marionettes; certain nats may sport up to 60 strings, including one for each eyebrow. The marionette master's standard repertoire requires a troupe of 28 puppets. These figures bring together the talents of singers, puppeteers, musicians, woodcarvers, embroideries and set designers.