Feature: Grand epic show "Angkor Dynasty" unveils true history of building Cambodia's famed Angkor

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-18 22:26:24|Editor: xuxin
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by Nguon Sovan

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Performed by more than 100 well-trained Cambodian artists, "Angkor Dynasty," a grand epic show, takes audience on a journey to Cambodia's ancient history in building Angkor, a world heritage site.

Located in Siem Reap town, the Chinese-invested Angkor Grand Theater is new, clean and well-equipped with extravagant visual effects and technology.

Launched in April 2017, the 1,200-seat theater features the "Angkor Dynasty," a large-scale epic performance that depicts the Cambodian ancient civilization, King Jayavarman VII's war against invading enemies, and his construction of the Angkor, said Li Yongxi, director of the performance.

The 75-minute performance opens every evening, attracting tourists from around the world, he said.

Tum Sarim, a 38-year-old Apsara (fairy) dancer at the Angkor Grand Theater, said she was trained by Cambodian and Chinese coaches for more than a year before performing on stage.

"I like Apsara dance and want to be an Apsara dancer since I was just over 10 years old," she told Xinhua. "At that time, I watched the dance on TV, and learned how to dance it without any coach."

Sarim got formal training in Apsara dance at the age of 19 when a coach from the Siem Reap provincial department of culture and fine arts approached her village to seek talents for training. She has become an Apsara dancer since then and has moved to work with the Angkor Grand Theater in 2016.

"I like this performing job very much and I'm proud to be an Apsara dancer because I have fulfilled my dream and it gives me an opportunity to help preserve the Cambodian culture and show it to the audience coming from various countries across the world," she said.

"The Angkor Dynasty has not only helped promote the Cambodian culture to the world, but also contribute to enhancing cultural relations between Cambodia and China," she said.

Sorn Sethya Norn, 29, performs martial arts at the Angkor Grand Theater at night time, and drives a tuk-tuk to earn an extra income in day time.

"Before performing, I had been trained for more than two years by both Chinese and Cambodian coaches," he told Xinhua. "I act as a soldier of King Jayavarman VII, who battled against invading enemies."

"I want to learn the Chinese language, and especially, I want to go abroad to perform to show the Cambodian civilization and dance to foreigners. First of all, I want to go to China," he said.

Speaking to Xinhua after watching the show, Cambodian spectator Khan Sophirom said the performance was great and mesmerizing, as all artists dressed in beautiful ancient costumes and were very professional.

"I really enjoyed seeing the show. It was a great experience to learn the Cambodian history through high-tech arts performance. It's a fabulous scene that I have never seen before. It's amazing," he said. "For those who are keen to experience Cambodia's ancient history and beautiful culture, the Angkor Dynasty is a must-see."

"The show depicted the ancient history and culture of Cambodia through impressive songs, music, dance, and acrobatics," he added.

Located in the country's northwest Siem Reap province, the 401-square-km Historic Site of Angkor was inscribed on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1992.

The Angkor contains the magnificent remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century, according to the UNESCO.

The Angkor, the country's most popular tourist destination, attracted 1.12 million foreign visitors during the January-May period this year, according to a government report.