Apsara dancing

Apsara Dance, or Robam Tep Apsara in Khmer, is a famous Khmer Classical Dance, which forms an integral part of the culture of Cambodia, as well as neighboring countries such as Thailand and Laos. In its modern form, the dance is heavily influenced by the depiction of dancing apsaras at the Angkor Wat temple complex. The apsara, a woodland spirit, is played by a woman, sewn into tight-fitting traditional dress, whose graceful, sinuous gestures are codified to narrate classical myths or religious stories. The tradition of dance, honed for over a millennium, was almost lost in the Cambodian genocide, when the Khmer Rouge targeted those involved in the dance and "imposed a massive cultural forgetting". In 2003, UNESCO declared the dance a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Culture", and laid plans for a regeneration of the art form. The performance was first introduced to foreign countries during the 1960s, when it became known in the English language as the Khmer Royal Ballet, or alternatively the Cambodian Royal Ballet. The first royal ballerina ever was Norodom Bopha Devi, a daughter of Norodom Sihanouk. Traditional Khmer Apsara dancing including buffet dinner can be enjoyed at Earthwalkers’, or at one of Siem Reap's finest establishments.

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Earthwalkers’ · Sala Kanseng Village · Sangkat No. 2 · Siem Reap ·
Photogallery: TIM CROCKATT