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Millennia of history in a spectacular show

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Apsara dancers are featured in the new Smile of Angkor show at Angkor Coex in Siem Reap.

ONE thousand years of history are being brought to life with a daily  performance of a spectacular show called Smile of Angkor in Siem Reap.

Eighty-four performers, including 10 Chinese professionals, dance and act in the 70-minute show which features high-tech special effects, says Sales Manager Sor Kundaroth.

One of the highlights of the show is an ancient story brought to life from pre-Angkor times from Hindu mythology, he says.

Churning of the Ocean of Milk tells of gods and demons who believed there was an elixir of immortality to be found inside the ocean. Because they wanted to find the ingredient for eternal life, they decided to work together to churn the ocean by using Mount Mandaranchal to stir up the waters and serpent Vasuki as the churning tool.

The gods held the serpent tail while demons held its head, said Sor Kundaroth.

“If we look on the walls of the ancient temples at Angkor Wat or the bridge lead[ing] to the ancient temple, we see the statues from the story Churning of the Ocean of Milk,” he said. “Our performance helps to raise awareness of Cambodian culture as well as the ancient Khmer Empire.”   

Advanced technology and special effects have been harnessed to create spectacular scenes, including sprays of real water on the stage, said Sor Kundaroth.

Apsara and peacock dances,   Khmer martial arts and other traditions are included in the performance every night at the trade showroom Angkor Coex in Siem Reap at 7pm.

Tickets are US$58-US$68 with dinner for overseas passport holders and US$6-US$8 for Cambodians, who can include dinner for US$4.

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