Khmer CultureUNESCO World Heritage

Apsara Dance

“the Royal Ballet of Cambodia” - a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity

Apsara Dance it is the dominant genre of dance theatre in Cambodia that features the classical dance style.

The repertoire includes dances of tribute or invocation and the enactment of traditional stories. This dance form was first introduced to foreign countries and best known during the 1960s as the Khmer Royal Ballet.


The first royal ballerina was Princess Norodom Bopha Devi, a daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk. As evidenced in part by these Apsaras (celestial dancers), dance has been part of the Khmer culture for more than a millennium.

A visit to Cambodia is only complete when one has attended at least one such traditional dance performance.

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