Battambang Circus is one of the most interesting things that tourists shouldn't miss out once visiting Battambang. This not only gives tourists a great evening out but it also brings out a lot of benefits to the local community.
The circus seems to bear strong resemblances to the ones in the west with demonstrations characterizedby tightropes walkers and artists performing other insane stunts. However, what makes the differences there is the basis behind the circus is more far – reaching than this. The circus was formed by the NGO PharePonleuSelpak (PPS) with the aim to help disadvantaged young individuals obtain chances to use their talents and creation while learning skills to earn a living. The organization emphasize on children gaining confidence as well as personal development thanks to creativity and freedom of expression.
There is an exciting fact that the performers are children aged from 14 to 17 years old. In addition, those little artists are trained by professional artists. And once they grow up into adults, some will become teachers for the training center themselves! Twice a week, visitors can drop by and see an impressive collection of tricks and performances such as acrobatics, clowns, trapeze and tightrope walkers, musicians, unicyclists and even the show of people jumping through hoops of knives or fires.Modern Cambodian tales are embodied by a new generation of talented artists trained in Battambang. The performances mix theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, fire or contortion with an explosion of virtuosity and sensitivity. During one hour, little performers will transmit emotions and excitement, taking the audience by storm with their integrity and power. This is a good way to enjoy contemporary Cambodian culture at its best. If you have time left and are lucky enough, you should see a nomadic circus which visits all areas of Cambodia on an ad-hoc basis and after each show they sell contemporary and traditional medicines at low price to viewers.
Set in the heart of Siem Reap City, Phare circus tent can comfortably accommodate 360 spectators and is specially designed to fulfill the acoustic needs of the live music performances.
Phare artists are graduates from PharePonleuSelpak's vocational training center in Battambang(www.phareps.org). Coming from vulnerable households they gained international recognition through their art practice.
The theater team has organized shows on different places: on the Battambang to Phnom Penh train, in factories and hospitals and their performances have raised awareness of the viewers about social affairs such as: domestic violence, child trafficking and Aids prevention. The Battambang Circus is really a tool to build the careers of Cambodian artists and to contribute in the revival of the Cambodian art scenes as well as to sustain the artistic, educational and social programs of the association.
Since being formed, the worldwide famous Battambang circus has been an irreplaceable part of each tour to all tourists. While enjoying the circus, tourists will not only have a chance to understand about the Cambodian culture but join other activities such as schooling, drawing, music, dressmaking and a community leisure center as well. The most important thing is you can get a comfortable and fun time whereas helping supportthe NGO school which works with disadvantaged children and teenagers.