Apsara Dance Performances

Apsara Dance Performance in Siem Reap

The Apsara dance is a centuries old traditional Khmer dance and an important part of Cambodian culture. There are several venues in Siem Reap where you can attend a traditional Apsara dance performance. Usually these shows are offered as a package combining a (buffet) dinner and a dance spectacle.

A traditional Apsara dance usually depicts a story about the Cambodian daily life or an historic event. Most of the dances find their origin in the 18th to 20th century, since a lot of the royals of the Angkor period supported this art of dancing.

Types of Apsara Dancing

There are four types of traditional dancing:

Classical Dance

The classical dance is known for the arched backs, feet and hands. The dancers make slow and feather light movements. They wear traditional Khmer clothing and have a graceful appearance. The classical dance usually presents a story of the ancient Angkor period.

Folk Dance

The Folk Dance is usually performed during celebrations and holidays. It depicts a particular ritual and is often inspired by scenes from the countryside. Popular dances are the Good Harvest Dance and the Romantic Fishing Dance.

Shadow Puppet Theater

Shadow Puppet Theater in Siem Reap
Shadow Puppet Theater during the Water Festival

There are two different kinds of the Shadow Puppet Theater. The Sbek Thom presents stories of the Reamker, a traditional epic poem. The Sbeik Touch displays heroes, love and battle stories. In both forms, the story is depicted to the audiance by moving silhouettes or shadows on a large white screen. The silhouette effect is created by puppets which are held and moved around behind the screen and in front of a light.

Lakhon Khol

Lakhon Khol is a masque dance theater, depicting stories of the Reamker. In most of these performances the actors are wearing ancient masques and perform a battle scene.

Apsara Dance Performances in Siem Reap

There are several Siem Reap venues where you can attend an Apsara performance, depicting a few of the traditional Khmer dances. The show is usually combined with a set menu or buffet dinner. Some restaurants offer the show for free to their customers. Make a reservation if you want a seat close to the stage. Also make sure to call the venue of your choice to make sure there are no changes in the show’s schedule.

Venue  Days Time  Phone
Alliance Art Café Every day 7pm-9.30pm +855 63 964 940
Apsara Theatre Tuesday,Thursday, Saturday 7.30pm-9.30pm +855 63 963 561
La Noria Hotel Wednesday 7.30pm-8.30pm +855 63 964 242
La Résidance d’Angkor Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
Monday and Friday
+855 63 963 390
Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7.45pm-8.45pm +855 63 655 168
Temple Balcony Every day 7.30pm-9.30pm +855 99 999 905
Smile of Angkor Every day 7.15pm-8.25pm +855 63 655 016 8
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