Apsara Dance Performances

Place: Various locations in Siem Reap  (01 May 2018 - 31 Aug 2018 )

Traditional Khmer Dancing and Apsara Dance Performances

Many people would argue that a trip to Siem Reap and Cambodia is not complete without attending a traditional Cambodian dance performance. This ancient art form and beautiful dances have played a major part in Khmer culture for more than thousand years and have seen a great revival over the last few years.

Traditional Khmer Dancers
Dance performance by the children from Sangkheum Center for Children...

During the Angkorian era, dance performances were enjoyed by kings and common people alike. The dances are perhaps better described as 'dance-dramas' as they also convey a story or message which also can be found portrayed several places in the Angkor temples. It has played an important role of the Khmer cultural heritage, but like many other Cambodian cultural traditions, Apsara dancing and other traditional Khmer dances were almost destroyed during the Khmer Rouge regime. Due to the increased interest for Cambodian culture and, in large part the extraordinary efforts of Her Excellency Princess Bopha Devi, the ancient art form has seen a great revival, and today you will find many places with regular shows and performances in Siem Reap and Cambodia.

Popular dance performance venues:

Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Regular performances every Friday by young adults from the Sangkheum Center for Children.
Dance performances are free of charge, but donations to the center is much appreciated.
Advance bookings highly recommended.

Angkor Village Apsara Theatre

Perhaps one of the best performance theatres in Siem Reap.
Regular Performances
Advance bookings are recommended

Raffles Grand Hotel d'Angkor

The Apsara Theatre at Grand Hotel d'Angkor is a Siem Reap classic and located next to the riverside and the Royal Gardens.
Regular performances
Advance bookings recommended

Le Meridien Angkor

Regular performances
Advance bookings recommended

Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort

Regular performances
Advance bookings recommended

Amansara

Traditional dance performances by Sangkheum Centre for Children
In-house guests only

Hotel de la Paix

Traditional dance performances by Sangkheum Centre for Children
On special occasions

Amazon Angkor

Daily dance performances. Very popular with tour groups. Including buffet dinner.
Advance bookings recommended

Kulen II

Daily performances. Popular with tour groups. Including buffet dinner.
Advance bookings recommended

Tonle Mekong

Daily performances. Popular with tour groups. Including buffet dinner.
Advance bookings recommended.


Books and further reading:

A selection of books about Khmer dancing can be found at local markets, and Monument Books in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh also offer a wide selection of books. Some titles can also be ordered online:

CambodianDance:CelebrationoftheGods Cambodian Dance: Celebration of the Gods
by Denise Heywood
River Books Press (April 25, 2009)

History of traditional Camboian dances...


EarthinFlowers:TheDivineMysteryoftheCambodianDanceDrama Earth In Flower: The Divine Mystery of the Cambodian Dance Drama
by Paul Cravath, Kent Davis (Introduction)
DatASIA, Inc.; 1 edition (May 30, 2008)

Presents the subtle nature of the dancers' mysterious elegance and their historical, ritual, political, and aesthetic power in traditional Cambodia...


KhmerCostumes&Ornaments Khmer Costumes & Ornaments: After the Devata of Angkor Wat
by Sappho Marchal
Orchid Press; illustrated edition (July 24, 2006)

Ornaments and costumes depicted on the stone reliefs of Angkor Wat...

RoyalBalletofCambodia Royal Ballet of Cambodia (DVD)
National Archives and Records Administration

Historical recordings documenting the work of the Royal Ballet of Cambodia inclufing dress rehearsal, costume design, mask-making and a solo dance by Her Excellency Princess Norodom Bopha Devi.