Photo of the day: Cambodia’s moving circus act

In this amazing shot, the contortionist has just fired her arrow with her feet while standing on her hands. It is about to pierce a balloon filled with paint that has been fixed to the artwork that has just been realised live on stage. The dripping paint symbolises the blood that was shed during the secret bombings of Cambodia by the US in the shadow of the Vietnam War.

This act is part of the show Sokha by Phare, the Cambodian circus. Beyond fantastic stunts by talented artists, the show depicts the moving story of Cambodia and takes the spectator back into the dark days of civil war and the Khmer Rouge to end with a message of hope for the future.

Claire & Marcella

Travel tips:

  • Phare, the Cambodian circus is a must-see in Siem Reap! It is an excellent show for an international audience and supports a good cause.
  • Before becoming professional artists, these young Cambodian performers were trained in Battambang at the Phare Ponleu Selpak living art school, where one can attend performances at night.
  • We attended both performances in Battambang and Siem Reap, and cannot recommend one over the other: both are different and definitely worth visiting. If you get the chance, attend both!
  • Check out this interactive map for the specific details to help you plan your trip and more articles and photos (zoom out) about the area!

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