Dance Shows

Experience Cambodian Living Arts showcases three unique Traditional Dance performances at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, with each performance presenting a different selection of dance, art, and culture from all over Cambodia.


Monday – Wednesday

Shadow & Light, presented by Morodok Koma Bassac features episodes from Reamker (the Cambodian version of India’s Ramayana epic) and depicts the balance of good and evil in the world. These episodes are presented through different forms including Sbaek Thom, large shadow puppets made of cowhide and more than one meter in height; Monkey Dance, a high energy performance featuring intricate paper mâché masks, and the tale of the Golden Mermaid, who protects the Kingdom of Langka by destroying the entrance bridge brick by brick. Shadow & Light also showcases rhythmic folk dances that depict rural life in Cambodia.


Thursday, Saturday

Grace & Grandeur, presented by Yu Vek Selapak features a unique performance which combines the elegance of Apsara (celestial female spirits) with ancient Pin harps. Apsara dance is inspired by the gestures of Apsara images depicted on the Angkorian temples. Apsara express the ideal of grace, and is an essential part of Cambodian culture, finding its roots in both Hindu and Buddhist mythologies. This performance also includes Lakhon Khol, a Cambodian masked dance theater performed only by men, and a selection of folk dances which present an insight into the life of fishermen and farmers in rural Cambodia.


Friday, Sunday

Heaven & Earth is presented by Yu Vek Selapak and features The Churning of the Ocean, a stunning piece which narrates the creation of the universe and the birth of Apsara. This spectacular dance is inspired by a Hindu epic (as depicted on the bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat), and describes a tug of war scene between Devas (Gods) and Asuras (Demons) around the serpent in order to produce Amrita, the sacred elixir of immortality from the depths of the cosmic ocean. Among the treasures that came out of the churning of the ocean of milk was a celestial being called Apsara. Heaven & Earth also presents lively folk dances originating from a variety of Cambodian provinces that depict how the local people of these regions interact with the natural environment around them.

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