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Apsara Theatre

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Made With Love

In their youth, my parents watched Werner Herzog's movie "Fitzcarraldo" about a man chasing his dream to build an opera house in the Amazon jungle.

Opera-loving European Brian Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski) lives in a small Peruvian city. Better known as Fitzcarraldo, this foreigner is obsessed with building an opera house in his town and decides that to make his dream a reality he needs to make a killing in the rubber business. In order to become a successful rubber baron, Fitzcarraldo hatches an elaborate plan that calls for a particularly impressive feat -- bringing a massive boat over a mountain with the help of a band of natives.  --------1982 film directed by Werner Herzog

In 1997, the Apsara Theater was their very own "Fitzcarraldo", an imposing wooden theater, built in an old-world style in the heart of what was then a sleepy village crisscrossed by dirt roads. Over the years, the theater contributed to the revival of Cambodia's classical and folk dances. The theater troupe is run by Mrs. Net, who since the 1980s has trained hundreds of young dancers. Today, the theater continues to serve as a venue for Mrs. Net and her students to showcase Cambodia's performance arts.

Fuelled With Passion

Existing in an era where even movie cinemas seem to be losing their appeal, is our contribution in the battle to keep performing arts, and old venues, alive. Keeping the troupe running is to ensure that these traditions are not lost to time.


Intricate traditional costumes are a timeless heritage. Here, they are worn to represent characters from the ancient Ramayana epics.

Driven by Purpose

The impact of cultural preservation is often intangible, it only works to reinforce a sense of belonging, of pride, and serves to form the identities of Cambodia's younger generations. It is a way for us to never forget our roots, especially in a country that seems to be developing faster than culture can keep up.


The Khmer people that inhabited Angkor had an intimate and complex relationship with water. Today It is still an important element in Cambodia as the country lives between the dry and wet seasons.

The Pailin Peacock Dance is a long-standing legacy from the Kola ethnic group, who live in the region of Pailin in the west of Cambodia. The dance is said to bring happiness and prosperity to villagers and is often performed in times of drought to pray for rain.

Where You’ll Be

ACTIVITY

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