During the Khmer Rouge, the genocidal regime of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979, had claimed millions of Khmer lives, including artists, musicians, and dancers. It is estimated that up to 90% of intellectuals and dancers were killed during the Khmer Rouge. Apsara Dance and other Khmer culture were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge. Understand Khmer Rouge.
One needs to know its past and its present to be able to see the future. By destroying the culture of any humankind is insane.
So, What is the Apsara Dance?
The Apsara Dance combines dance with drama to convey a story or message which is frequently found on the carvings of the Angkor Wat, and it plays an important role in the Khmer culture.
The Revival of the Apsara Dance
After the fall of the Khmer Rouge, Princess Norodom Buppha Devi which was the principal dancer for the royal troupe had wanted to revive the Apsara Dance. The Apsara Dance used to be performed exclusively for the King and was only taught in the Royal Court.
Princess Norodom Buppha Devi spent many years studying temple panels to establish the dance moves, it was after 16 years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge (1995), the Cambodians once again witnessed the Apsara Dance at Angkor Wat.
So, Where can I watch the Apsara Dance?
In Siem Reap, the most popular dance performance tends to be the dinner performance, that would offer buffet or set meals with the Apsara Dance.
(Most Convenient/Budget Friendly) Temple Club is located at Pub Street, Siem Reap. The Apsara Dance would start at 7.45pm every evening, it is strongly recommended to make reservations to get awesome seats for best viewing. Phone: +855-12-234 565
(Most Impressive) Apsara Terrace at the Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor is located about 10 mins drive from Pub Street. Performance is on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but be prepared to pay fine dining price. Strongly recommended to make reservations. Phone: +855-63-963 888
(Mid-range price, Walking distance from Pub Street) Apsara Theater, Angkor Village Hotel is located about 10 mins walking distance away from Pub Street. The dinner show starts at 8pm, it is relatively pricey. Phone: +855-63-963 531
The Apsara Dance is a Must-Have Experience if you are visiting Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia