There can’t be a person in Cambodia who doesn’t recognize Apsara Dancing when they see it. But today’s question:
“Who or what are Apsaras?”
First thing to know – they are not unique to Cambodia! Beautiful, supernatural women were known as Apsaras across Asia long before the Angkor era. In both Hindu and Buddhist mythology, Apsaras are female spirits of the clouds and water. They are always youthful and elegant. They danced to the music of their husbands, in the palaces of the gods. Apsaras appear in stone in many Angkor temples, carved in the 8th to 13th century. But did you know that not all females carved there are Apsaras?
Khmer female figures shown dancing are the real Apsaras. But the females shown standing still and facing forward in the manner of temple guardians are called “Devatas”. Khmer classical dance, the famous slow-motion performance art which we enjoy in Cambodia is often called Apsara Dance. The name reflects the belief that today’s Khmer classical dance is strongly connected to hundreds of years old traditions. Through modern Apsara Dance, Cambodia is linked to the times a thousand years ago, when this art was practiced for the Kings of Angkor. And surely, as they watched, those Kings knew their entertainment was inspired by the mythological Courts of the Gods and from their mysterious dancers, the youthful and elegant Apsaras.
So, when you next see a Khmer woman dancing these famous moves let your mind also take you back to those mythical times.
Source: KMF Cambodia
Find your hotel in CambodiaMaybe you don’t have a hotel for your Cambodia trip yet, then you can browse and book directly here at booking.com* agoda. com* there are also great deals.
Links with a * are affiliate links. If you like my blog and you buy, book or subscribe to something via an affiliate link, I get a small commission from the provider. Of course there are no additional costs for you.
Subscribe to Visit Angkor
Like what you read? Why not subscribe to my blog. Just enter your e-mail address and you’ll have all new posts sent directly to your mailbox.
Just enter your email address and choose the topics that interest you. As soon as you have clicked the activation link in the automatic confirmation message, your subscription is active.
Join our Facebook group
International travel group with friendly people who love Cambodia. We speak English, German and a little Khmer.