U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe – Myanmar’s comedic dance duo

When a lively traditional musical troupe plays, one that includes the bamboo clapper, oboe, flute, drum and cymbal, you may also notice a bushy moustached man. He will be accompanied on stage by a beautiful young lady wearing a long necklace and baggy trousers, dancing suggestively.

The two are known as U Shwe Yoe and Daw Moe, and are some of Myanmar’s best known dance characters. They have been popular in Myanmar for generations, but not everyone knows exactly where they come from – or why they are so popular.

Some believe that they have survived for generations, their mannerisms and moves handed down from performer to performer. But the pair have a more modern genesis, first emerging from early 20th Century movies.