Apsara dancing is a reflection of Cambodian cultural and religious customs. According to Hindu and Buddhist mythology, Apsaras were beautiful feminine beings that descended on earth to perform for the Gods and Kings. Dating back to the 6th century, human Apsara dancers were believed to be the embodiment of these spirits and performed in various ceremonies for the kings of Angkor. You can find engravings of Apsara dancers on the walls of Angkor Wat temples. After the fall of Angkor, Siam kings and then French colonialists maintained the beautiful Khmer Apsara dancing forms and the stories they tell. Although a lot of the ancient dance form and techniques were lost during the Khmer Rouge, it has experienced a huge revival in recent years. Apsara dancing is admired and performed all over the world.
The dancers are gracefully dressed in colorful sequined silk clothing, jewelry, and elaborate headdresses. Every single dance position, down to the alignment of the fingers, has a symbolic meaning, which allows the dance to tell a story. Apsara dancers must undergo years of intensive training in order to memorize all of the positions and to gain as much flexibility as possible. Apsara dancers are famous for being able to bend their fingers all the way back to their wrists!
We truly enjoyed bringing this beautiful cultural experience, deeply embedded in the history of this beautiful country, to our guests at Navutu Dreams Resort.