An exhilarating circus workshop with Phare in Cambodia

The artists of Cambodia’s Phare circus perform at the peak of human ability – juggling with fire, dancing in perfect synchronisation and tumbling gracefully through the air – which is truly mesmerising to watch. Taking part in a circus-skills workshop before the show, and chatting to the performers, gives you a rare chance try-out the techniques and glimpse behind the magic of one of the greatest, most enduring entertainments on earth.

What to expect on the circus workshop...

Phare, the Cambodian Circus, is a fresh and energetic mixed-arts performance which exemplifies the very best of cutting-edge Cambodian culture. Combining traditional circus skills with music, dance and theatre around a range of powerful themes, the artists engage the audience in a distinctive, Cambodian narrative.

Having graduated from the Phare Ponleu Seplak centre in Battambang (an NGO which provides opportunities for disadvantaged young people to train in the arts) the performers are passionately committed to their craft and ever-patient with beginners – the perfect combination for engaging you in the workshop experience.

The afternoon starts with a behind-the-scenes tour of the space, seeing some of the technical details which enhance the spectacle and discussing the show itself, before getting into workshop mode for a 90-minute training session with the experts.

After a thorough warm-up, your trainers will guide you through some exercises in tumbling, balancing and juggling, providing tips and expertise to help you achieve the first steps in learning these complex skills.

You’ll have a chance to chat with these dedicated artists about their training and begin to understand the workings of this extraordinary circus. Anyone can get involved, whatever their age, ability and fitness, as the workshop leaders will adapt the content to suit your level and needs; all you need to bring is a willingness to give it a go!

After the workshop, you’ll join the rest of the audience to watch the professionals put their talents to work in a spellbinding extravaganza. Having had a go yourself, you’ll have a whole new appreciation of the hard work and strength behind the action, feeling your own muscles tense and sharpen in sympathy with those on stage.

Once the show is over, you’ll return to your hotel with the memories of your day as a temporary circus trainee still buzzing through your head.

Location: Siem Reap

Duration: One day

Accommodation: Your choice of Siem Reap accommodation

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'A fantastic example of contemporary Cambodian culture, and perfect for kids and grownups'

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