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APSARA SHOW: Cambodian-cultural-performance

When you are in Siem Reap and have good interest in dining and watching cultural performance, we would like to suggest you to enjoy our great traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance' after one of the most popular Classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance is betterdescribed as 'dance-drama' in that the dances are not merely dance but are also meant to convey a story or message. 

Brief History

In 1940s, Queen Sisowath Kossomak Nearirath Serey Vatthana, the wife of King Norodom Suramarit, was sent an invitation to Sothearath primary school, seeing the school mistress prepared an inspirational angkor apsara dance which is performed by young school in the paper apsara costume includes Crown, Sampot and Flower, all referencing Apsara represented at Angkor Wat. The Queen got the idea to re-create the dance and led her first granddaughter, Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, a daughter of Norodom Sihanouk, to become the first professional apsara dancer of the modern era. The Princess started practicing the dance since she was 5 years old and danced apsara for first time during King Norodom Sihanouk's tenure. In 1967, the fine–boned young princess, clad in silk and glittering jewels, performed beneath the stars on the open pavilion within the palace walls, accompanied by the royal dance troupe and the "pinpeat" orchestra. Selected by her grandmother, Queen Sisowath Kossomak, to become a dancer when she was only a baby. She toured the world as the principal dancer of the apsara role.

Costume:

The costumes of the apsara role is based on the devatas as depicted on bas-relief of Angkor Wat. They wear a sampot sarabap, a type of silk brocade that is intricately pleated in the front.

Head dress:

The headdress of the lead apsara has five points or tips, with two rows of spherical decorations like the apsara pictured at Angkor Wat. Headdress worn by the subordinate dancers commonly have three points and only one row of sphere decoration. These crowns often include garlands of artificial hair with ornate adornments. The five-points crowns are frequently absent in modern dance routines.

Accesories:

This gorgeous round decorative collar (red colored) is highly visible, found just below the neck the collar is embellished with detailed gold colored copper ornaments and beaded designs. The elaborate decorations is usually found gracefully decorated on two separate rows. Additional copper ornaments are found hanging below these rows, in the shape of difficult-to-describe warped spear tips. The largest of which is centralized. Dangling earrings, which are bound in bunches, traditionally stretch almost to the shoulder. These dangling earrings are mainly duplicated from the design of the 'krorsang' flower (a large spiny tree with sour fruit) and are preferred to the 'mete' (chili) flowers, which are held to be less beautiful. There are a total of four types of wrist jewelry: kong rak, patrum, kong ngor, and sanlek. The first is a truly beautiful diamond-like studded bracelet a fine and elegantly wrist jewel decorated in a tree branch-like fashion, the second is more of a spring-like coiled gold colored thick copper while the third type of bracelet (two sets are worn) are small round beaded orb/sphere bunches delicately connected to one another, the last bracelet is an intricate and well decorated thickly rounded jewel. Additionally an Apsara dancer may be found wearing a garland of jasmine. Two types of gold ankle jewelry are usually worn by the Apsara dancer, the first being kong tong chhuk the second kong ngor (or kong kravel). The sangvar is a loosely decorated band of beads worn crosswise. The golden flower is considered a body-decorating element, either worn on the waist or carried during the performance. It too is gold in color, and made of thin flexible copper.

Performance Venues in Siem Reap

There are nightly dinner performances at some local restaurants in town. Dinner ordinarily begins at 6:30pm and dance performances will start at 7:30PM to 8:30PM, consisting of 4 or 5 shows, lasting about an hour in all. Many places offer a buffet style featuring Khmer and Asian dishes. Some offer a set menu Khmer dinner. Price and venue style vary considerably. Most restaurants with buffets and set menus run between $12 to $35 including the buffet and performance drink is excluded. Some restaurants do not charge admission for the performance, but you are expected to order dinner and drinks.

Please contact us for your show booking and we'll do our best to reserve front side seats for you...

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