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Performing Arts

Do:bat Aka

Folk dance with Do:bat drum


Competing Do:bat dance in the Myanmar Traditional Cultural Performing Arts Competitions (1999)

Do:bat dance is derived from a musical instrument called do:bat. Do:bat dance is mostly lively and comic.

Reasons for selection

Do:bat dance is a folk dance which is performed mostly in rural areas and therefore it is a music band in touch with the grass root people.

Area where performed

Do:bat dance is prevalent in the middle and lower Myanmar.

Essential elements of the performing art

Music, Dance

Detailed explanation

The characteristics of Do:bat dance is inspiring and agitating to everybody watching it. When the do:bat music is played with quick musical timing, the dancer takes quick and agile steps. The dancer's legs, hands and head movements are in tune with the musical timing. In do:bat band there are two do:bat drums, a pair of cymbals ( linquin ), one oboe ( hne )and bamboo clappers ( wa let kote ).

In days of yore, do:bat band performed at such agricultural activities and festivals as invoking rain and paddy planting. But nowadays, do:bat band is played at pagoda festivals, alms giving occasions and labour contribution site.

Historically, do:bat can be traced to the mural paintings on the wall of ancient temples at old Bagan and bas-reliefs of terra cotta plaques which decorate old pagodas. In them we find figures of dancer playing a drum of do:bat size.

The design of do:bat
Do:bat drum is slung on the neck of the player and it is played on both faces. There are two types of do:bat playing, hkaw do: (calling do: )and lite-do: (following do: )which are commonly known as do:pho (male do: )and do:ma (female do: )respectively. Both faces of do:bat are tuned with the application of pat-sa (drum food)which is a specially prepared paste.

Standard do:bat drum measures 22 inches long. The diameter of the face of do:pho drum is 7 inches, and that of do:ma drum is 8 inches.

Publication and textual documentation

Pantayar Myint Aung
1969 Myanmar Aka Thamaing History of Myanmar Dance .
Myanmar. In Myanmar.

Min Naing
1959 Pyi Daung Su Aka Padaytha National Variety of Dances .
Myanmar. In Myanmar.

Audio documentation

Myanmar Radio Department
1965 Burmese Folk Songs.
Ministry of Union Culture.

Visual documentation

Myanmar Radio and Television
1999 Myanmar Traditional Cultural Performing Arts Competitions.
National Theatre.

Institution/organisation involved in preservation and promotion

Fine Arts Department
131 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar
Tel : (95-1)543 153, Fax : (95-1)544 944

Data provider

U Zaw Than
Fine Arts Department
Address: 131 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township, Yangon, Myanmar

(Revised in July 2004)
Ms. Khin Hla Htay
Yangon University of Culture
Address: Aung Zeya Road, 26th block, South Dagon Myothit Township, Yangon, Myanmar