Friday, November 17, 2023

Phare, the Cambodian Circus - Siem Reap

One of the many things Mel had found for us to do in Siem Reap (asides from visiting many, many temples) was a night at the Phare, the Cambodian Circus. Phare has a company in Battambang and in Siem Reap, and the Siem Reap company puts on nightly shows that attract quite a few visitors, even in what was a quiet time for tourists in Cambodia.

Spohorn dropped us off and picked us up when we went to Phare Circus, however it is only a short tuk tuk ride from town if you don't have a driver and there were a few waiting to pick up patrons when we were heading home.

Phare Circus' performances all tell a story, apparently there are a number of different stories depending on the night, keeping the show fresh for return visitors.

Phare is an acrobatic circus, no animals involved here, just an awesome show.

There is some serious skill involved in putting this show together, we were all in awe of the talent on display at Phare, the Cambodian Circus.

The story this night involved a young girl, removed from her family at birth during the Khmer Rouge era, returning to her village, where two men fought for her affection via feats of acrobatic endeavour.

Phare, the Cambodian Circus, hold a Guinness world record for the longest continuous circus performance, with a non-stop performance that lasted over 24 hours.

The show at Phare also includes a few feats of strength and will keep you riveted throughout the whole performance.

In the background here you can see three paintings that were painted by one of the performers during the course of the show and you have the opportunity after the show to purchase these if you wish.

As with many of the places we visited in Cambodia, Phare, the Cambodian Circus operates as a social enterprise, that is, they are run as a for-profit business that dedicates it's profits to a social cause. In the case of Phare Circus, the profits from their business operations go towards funding their non-profit school, Phare Ponleu Selpak, in Battambang. Phare Ponleu Selpak provides education for student from kindergarten age and has a performing arts program as well as regular schooling for students from Battambang and surrounding communities. Phare's Siem Reap Circus also has quite an extensive gift shop selling locally made goods which in turn supports a number of local artists and suppliers.

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