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Apsaras Dance & Dinner Shows

Apsara Dance draws its inspiration from the mythological court of the gods and from its celestial dancers, the Apsaras. The dance took on its own unique form adding movements and meaning, during the reigns of Jayavarman II and Jayavarman VII as well as in the Angkor era.

By the 13th century, the dance was assuming a Khmer identity rather than Indian – the source of its roots. It combined gentle movements with loud, traditional Khmer music during its performance. In that era, Apsara dance was performed solely for the benefit of the upper class, and particularly for the king.

Apsara dancers’ fingers are extraordinarily elastic; so much so that they can Apsara Dancebend their fingers backwards almost to the wrist and training starts when they are so young that their bones are still supple.

Apsaras Dance Performance in Siem Reap

everal restaurants and hotels in Siem Reap present Apsara Dance Shows, and Apsara Dance Dinner Shows are included in many tours.

Most shows include the four genre of traditional Khmer dance: Apsara Dance, Masked Dance, Shadow Theatre, and Folk Dance. These are abbreviated dances for tourists, and unfortunately there is usually little, or no explanation as to the origin and meaning of the dances. But they are still interesting and worthwhile to see.

Below are a few of the venues offering Apsara Dance.

Alliance Cafe
Opening Hours
: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday - Dinner 19:00/ Show 20:00 
Duration:           1 hour 
Location:            Wat Damnak area 
Type:                  Shadow Puppet Theatre and Traditional Khmer Dance 
Remarks:           Seating Indoors
Dinner type:       Khmer set menu or a la carte
Note:                  No show during May & June 
Tel:                    +855 (0)63 964 940 
Price Range:      Set menu + show $20.00, Show only $7.00 


Apsara Terrace
Opening Hours:   Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Dinner 19:00 / Show 19:45.
Duration:             1 hour 
Location:              Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor 
Type :                  Traditional Khmer Dance & Khmer Martial Arts 
Tel:                      +855 (0) 63 963 561 
Price Range:         Adults – $40, Children under 12 - $25.50 

Apsara Theatre
Opening Hours:    Everyday – Dinner 19:30 / Show 20:30 
Duration:              1 hour 
Location:               off Wat Bo Road, opposite Angkor Village Hotel 
Type :                   Traditional Khmer Dance 
Remarks:              Seating inside (A/C)
Dinner type:          Khmer set menu 
Tel:                       +855 (0)63 963 561 
Price Range:          Adults – $25, Children under 12 - $12.50 

La Noria Hotel
Opening Hours
:    Wednesday & Sunday at 19:30
Duration:              1 hour (1/2 hour Shadow Puppet & 1/2 hour Traditional Dance) 
Location:               River Road, north of Highway No. 6 
Type :                    Shadow Puppet and Traditional Khmer Dance 
Remarks:               Seating inside 
Dinner type:          A La Carte
Note:                     Performances by children from the K.rousar Thmey NGO.  In the low season (April to Sept.), performance only on Wed., and may be cancelled 
Tel:                       +855 (0)63 964 242 
Price Range:         $6.00 per person 

Temple Balcony
Opening Hours
:    Everyday at 19:30. 
Duration:              2 hours 
Location:              Pub Street 
Type :                   Traditional Khmer Dance 
Remarks:              Seating inside
Dinner type:         A La Carte 
Tel:                      +855 (0)15 999 909 
Price Range:         Free 

Apsaras Dance Performance in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is not as active as Siem Reap when it comes to Khmer performing arts. However, some of the performing arts schools in the city Apsaras Dance Performance in Phnom Penhare open to the public during the day, allowing visitors the opportunity to observe dancers in training.

Among these, a must-see is the Sovanna Phum Art Association. Started in 1994 by a group of students, cultural shows are staged every Friday and Saturday night at 19:30. These include shadow puppet theatre, classical Apsara dancing and folk and mask dances. On sale at the gallery at the theatre are shadow puppets made from leather, musical instruments and more. Another fine theatre to visit is the Chatomuk Theatre at Sisowath Quay.

Location: Sovanna Phum Art Association at 111 Street 360 (corner of Street 105) and Chatomuk Theatre at Sisowath Quay 

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