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what-circus(1)Phare to the Rescue…

When people hear about Phare, they often ask similar questions…

“A circus? Are there lions? Elephants? Clowns?”

Sometimes we’ll even hear, “Oh… I don’t like the circus, they only try to scare people…” or, “…circus tricks are fake.”

The circus hasn’t always been the most ethical business. There has been an unfortunate history of treating animals poorly, and questionable treatment of audiences. Most of these stereotypes are connected with older or more classical circus productions. Some of these still exist though they are fewer in number. Today however, things tend to be different. Many of the older arts are still present, but the emphasis has often changed…

Phare performances are what we tend to call a “modern circus.” Phare blends theatre with some classical circus skills while depicting culturally relevant themes. Take the recent Phare production Chills for instance. Ghosts and other supernatural occurrences are often references in Khmer folklore, and many people still believe in their existence.  In Chills, characters are faced with some frightening ghostly characters that haunt their sleep. But how are the ghosts depicted during the performance? Sure, they dress in a classic ghostly white, but their entrance is far more dazzling… floating down from the ceiling on aerial silks and moving around their haunted sleepers via contortionist backbends and rolls. In this way, a story is woven into the circus performance…

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Another example is from Phare’s Khmer Metal production, set in a trendy Phnom Penh bar. When a waiter brings a girl a drink and she seductively takes a sip, what better way to add spice to the movement than to stand on the table and throw in some contortion?

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No animals are involved in Phare productions, though you may occasionally see some performers act like animals. More importantly, the modern element of the circus means the infusion of a variety of new age arts disciplines, such has hip-hop dance, fire spinning, and breakdance…

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However, we will not make any promises about clowning around… This circus tradition of playful trickery and sleight of hand definitely make their appearances in Phare shows. But, our clowns are sure to turn your frown upside down…

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So, after the Angkor temples, take a break and then start your evening with Siem Reap’s top present-day attraction. Proniap! is showing for just a few more days before Eclipse returns. We’ll see you there.