Monday, February 24, 2014

Phare: Cambodian Circus

To kick off our recent trip to Cambodia, we decided to hit up a show in Siem Reap on our first night: Phare, the Cambodian Circus.  We'd heard good things about it and it seemed like a fun night out for a good cause (supporting a non-profit founded by refugees and supporting arts and education for the many impoverished kids in rural Cambodia).

The show we saw was "Preu (Chills)," which was about a group of school kids facing their fear of ghosts and spirits.  There was tumbling, balancing, juggling, dancing, acting, whatever you call that thing where people twirl around on large swaths of cloth dangling from the air (aha: a quick Google search ['twirl cloth acrobatics'] informs me this is called "aerial silk"), music, group bicycle riding...  

The spirit descends on the sleeping children...
Two spirits performing a tricky balancing act.
The whole thing was very Cirque du Soleil, but totally Cambodian style.  It was really fun- the performers were working their butts off, frenetically running, tumbling, balancing, throwing each other.  Their comic timing was pretty awesome, too, despite the language barrier (the show was done in Khmer language, with English and French subtitles on a screen).

How many people can you fit on one bicycle?  That would be at least 6.

Climbing up to bring props down.
The aerial silk I mentioned:

Some serious balancing on a stack of chairs:

More impossible balancing... note that several of the tubes are laying on their sides in different directions:

Pretty amazing!:

This little guy in the orange shirt was a champ- he got tossed around all night:

I would definitely recommend Phare if you're ever in Siem Reap... a ton of fun!  They have several different shows, too, so you could go multiple times and not be bored.

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