Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th

traditional performances


traditional dance

I t has been a tradition since the earliest days of tourism in the 19th century to treat visitors to Siem Reap with an ‘Apsara dance performance’ - a taste of classical Khmer culture. No visit to Cambodia is com- plete without attending at least one performance. Dinner performances are now the most popular venue - most places offering buffet or set menus combined with a one-hour dance performance. Dinner ordinarily

begins at 6:00 or 7:00PM and dance performances at 7:30PM or 8:00PM, consisting of 4 or 5 dances (clas- sical and folk). Most dinner performances run $10-$35 including the meal and admission. Some venues do not charge admission for the performance, but you are expected to order dinner.

Peformance Venues

Bambu Stage Live shows featuring Khmer puppet shows, as well as mesmerizing, fantastically curated live talks on the history of Angkor Wat and a photographic jour- ney through the early 1900’s in Cambodia. Beautiful setting, great hosts. This show is a must. Truly unique. Highly recommended. Bamboo Street Tel: 097-7261110 New Cambodian Artists This all female dance company consisting of a small group of dancers has been promoting social equal- ity and empowering women since 2012. Named the first contemporary dance company in Cambodia by the Ministry of Arts and Culture. Men’s Road Tel: 097-4724200 Phare The Cambodian Circus More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories. Performances at 8PM-9:00PM. Sok San Rd, behind Happy Horse Farm Tel: 015-499480 The Sacred Dancers of Angkor Traditional Khmer Ballet and musical performance by artists from the NGO, the Nginn Karet Foundation for Cambodia. Performances Wednesday & Sunday at 7:00PM. Handmade products by students available for purchase. Reservations recommended. #234 River Rd Tel: 012-772641

Most of the ‘traditional dances’ were developed in the 18th through 20th centuries, beginning in earnest with a revival championed by King Ang Duong. Many of the dances as they are performed today were developed, refined and ppoularized in the 1940s-1960s. Classical dance , including the 'Apsara dance,' has a grounded, subtle, restrained yet ethereal appear- ance. Distinct in its ornate costuming, taut posture, arched back and feet, flexed fingers, codified expres- sions, slow, deliberate but flowing movements. Folk Dances such as the popular Good Harvest Dance and the romantic Fishing Dance are usually adapta- tions of dances found in the countryside or inspired by rural life. Shadow puppet theatre comes in two forms: Sbeik Thom (big puppets that act as panels depicting characters) and Sbeik Toot (small articulated puppets). The leather puppets are held in front of a light source, creating a shadow/silhouette effect.

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