Cambodian Traditional Dance Performances

Cambodian Traditional Dance Performances - Cambodia tour packages

Cambodian traditional dance performance is one of the best ways to experience Cambodia’s culture and tradition. Watching a traditional Cambodian dancing show is a must-do activity for anyone visiting the country. These shows provide a unique glimpse into Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage and are a memorable way to experience the country’s vibrant arts scene. Cambodia’s traditional dance performances are an important part of the country’s cultural identity, and many are recognized by UNESCO as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most popular dance performances in Cambodia and where you can catch them.

Apsara Dance

Apsara Cambodia traditional dance - Cambodia trip

The Apsara Dance is perhaps the most well-known Cambodian traditional dance performance. The dance is named after the mythical Apsaras, celestial nymphs who are known for their beauty and grace. The Apsara Dance has been performed in Cambodia for centuries and is often associated with the Angkor Wat temple complex. This Cambodian traditional dance is known for its intricate hand gestures and graceful movements, which tell stories from Cambodian mythology and history. Dancers wear ornate costumes and headdresses, and the performance is accompanied by traditional Khmer music. Nowadays, the Apsara Dance is performed at many venues throughout Cambodia, including Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Battambang.

Khmer Dance

Khmer Dance traditional dance - Cambodia tour

Khmer Dance is another popular Cambodian traditional dance form in Cambodia. This dance is often performed by young girls and is characterized by its slow, graceful movements and intricate hand gestures. Like the Apsara Dance, Khmer Dance tells stories from Cambodian mythology and history. The dance is typically performed in traditional Khmer dress, which includes colorful silk costumes and ornate headdresses. Khmer Dance is often accompanied by live music, which may include the use of traditional instruments such as the khloy (bamboo flute) and the tro (xylophone). Visitors can catch Khmer Cambodia Dancing show at various venues throughout Cambodia, including the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

Robam Trot Dance

Robam Trot Dance - Cambodia traditional dance

The Robam Trot Dance is a popular folk Cambodian traditional dance that originated in Cambodia’s countryside. This lively dance is often performed at weddings and other festive occasions and features energetic movements and upbeat music. The dance is typically performed by a group of dancers, with the lead dancer often performing acrobatic feats. The movements of the dance are fast-paced and lively, and the music is typically played on traditional instruments such as the krapeu (a type of drum) and the chhing (a set of small cymbals). Visitors can catch Robam Trot Dance performances at many cultural shows and festivals throughout Cambodia, including the annual Water Festival in Phnom Penh.


Bokator is a unique Cambodian martial art that also incorporates elements of dance. The art dates back more than a thousand years and was used by Khmer warriors in battle. Today, Bokator is still practiced in Cambodia as a Cambodian traditional dance and is often performed at cultural festivals and events. The movements of Bokator are similar to those of other martial arts, such as karate and kung fu. However, Bokator also includes dance-like movements and emphasizes fluidity and grace. The art is known for its use of weapons, including swords, staffs, and spears. If you’re interested in watching a Bokator performance, keep an eye out for cultural shows and festivals in Cambodia. The annual Angkor Sangkran festival in Siem Reap is a great place to catch a Bokator demonstration.

Bokator - Cambodia tour packages

Some places to watch Cambodian traditional dance shows

Here are some suggested places to watch Cambodian traditional dance performances in Cambodia:

  • National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh – The museum hosts daily Apsara Dance performances in the courtyard.
  • Cambodian Living Arts in Siem Reap – This organization offers a range of cultural activities, including traditional dance performances, music concerts, and workshops.
  • Rosana Broadway in Siem Reap – This popular dinner theater offers nightly performances of a variety of traditional Cambodian dances, including Apsara and Khmer dances.
  • Sovanna Phum Art Association in Phnom Penh – This non-profit organization is dedicated to preserving Cambodia’s traditional arts, including dance, music, and theater. They host regular performances of traditional dance and other art forms.
  • Royal Palace in Phnom Penh – The palace hosts occasional traditional dance performances in its beautiful gardens.

These are just a few of the many places where you can catch traditional dance performances in Cambodia. Be sure to check with your hotel or a local tour operator for other recommended venues and schedules. Cambodian traditional dance performances offer a unique and fascinating glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Whether you’re watching the graceful movements of the Apsara Dance, the slow and deliberate gestures of Khmer Dance, or the energetic movements of the Robam Trot Dance, you’ll be captivated by the beauty and intricacy of these traditional art forms. Attending a Cambodian traditional dance performance is a must-do experience for visitors on a Cambodia tour. Not only will you learn more about Cambodia’s history and culture, but you’ll also be entertained by some of the most talented dancers in the world. Be sure to add a traditional dance performance to your Cambodia itinerary, and you won’t be disappointed.