Apsara dance performance - The Royal dance of Cambodian

Arriving Cambodia, you can easily catch the beautiful young woman dancing apsara in many ancient temples, rivers or magnificent palaces.

Before traveling, I have a request to my Cambodian friend is visiting places where I can learn about the cultural life of the Cambodia. At that time, I think of the poor villages, remote wilderness areas of Siem Reap. It is surprised that my friend arranged immediately for me to see the performance of traditional Cambodian dance.
Dance is a subject which I have never liked or excited before. But while eating buffet, seeing dancing, singing and watching backpackers who film or take photos continuously that make I also feel certainly interesting, but not so much.
 
the majority of visitors to Siem Reap to attend the concert with dinner 
The majority of visitors to Siem Reap to attend the concert with dinner at the local restaurant.

According to the introductory pages of Cambodia travel information, Apsara is the Cloudy and Water fairies in folklore. When they are playing and dancing, plants, animals proliferate, so Cambodians idolize Apsara as the God of Prosperity. The most beautiful fairies are Uvasi, Menaka, Ramba and Tilotama who often appear in many works of poetry, music, paintings in Cambodia. These fairies are also owners of banned palace and specialized in serving male gods in the parties for congratulating victorious devil. Each time, there are 26 fairies dancing together.

Learning the mysterious dance movements of fairies, Cambodian have created Apsara dance which is performed on holidays for praising the virtues of the gods and royalty. Apsara dance over the centuries becomes royal dance and then familiar dance of the female on holidays, festivals and weddings.
This classical and dulcet dance is renowned for its elegance, nobility with gentle postures, gestures. Apsara till now is the property and soul of Cambodia. The people who have big merit in maintaining and developing Apsara was Buppha Devi Princess. She danced from the age of 8 in Imperial palace, and brought white-fairy-dance to be introduced worldwide.

Apsara was born at least 2,000 years ago, the first image of this dance was seen on many decorative plaques, wall and hundreds of meters long trench in Cambodia’s ancient temples such as Angkor populations as well as many religious buildings throughout the country.
 
Apsara dance is famous for its elegance, nobility with gentle postures, and gestures 
The dance is famous for its elegance, nobility with gentle postures, gestures.

The posture, the curve of the arm, the dancer's body as well as costumes by gold, silver, pearls and flowers in dance are derived from pictures of ancient temples which describe India Ramayana epic or battle between the devil and the god to dispute the magic water bottle including 100 sensual, meaningful rhythm. Through dance, Cambodian want to speak out their wish for a peaceful, prosperity life and praise natural beauty of the country, the Hallow and the ancients’ merit. Besides, Apsara also talks about the touching story of birth, disease, old age, death ... four life stages which everyone have to go through. Dances helps the next generation understand, contemplate and preserve the cultural values and country’s tremendous spirit.

Each year, thanks to the Royal’s sponsorship, Apsara dancers can tour everywhere. To maintain and develop traditional dance, art groups regularly come to many local schools to recruit little girls, especially orphaned or poor girls who are learning dance. Children from 8 to 9 years old who are learnt and exercised dance in schools, palaces with a lot of attractive postures, especially dancing with exotic flexible hands. Their fingers can fold to near the wrist, dancer’s foot can kick high and knee can squeeze behind the back. Every afternoon, the girls come out dancing, playing in temples, in front of Apsara reliefs which attract many visitors to admire.
 
The beautiful girls dance
 
Currently, apart from serving in royal, there are about 300 Apsara dancers performing in hotels, motels and Chatomuk theatre near the Imperial palace with with lively music and vibrant, graceful costumes.

There are dance festivals held at temples but the majority of tourists to Siem Reap to attend the concert along with dinner at local restaurants. Dinner usually starts at 18h or 19h and dance performance begins at 19h30 or 20h, including 4-5 dances in about 45 to 60 minutes.
Some places offer standing-buffet with Khmer and international dishes, another ones serve Khmer dinner. Most restaurants’ prices are from 10 to 25 USD a person (include buffet and watching performance). Some restaurants do not charge for watching performance to attract tourists to dine. To own the best seat, you should call in advance for reservation, especially in peak season.

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