BATTAMBANG’S Phare Ponleu Selpak circus has won the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2018 after collecting more than 1,100 reviews, 87 percent of which were five-stars, TripAdvisor’s top ranking.
The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2018 is awarded to organisations that have received numerous and high-ranking reviews from their visitors over the last 12 months.
“These reviews are mainly talking about the circus, dance and live music shows performed by our students three to four times a week,” said Marion Sevenier, the communications coordinator for Phare Ponleu Selpak.
“The circus shows performed by our students reflect the skills they learn while taking classes in our school during their seven to 10-year circus vocational training.
“What is present in all the shows is their energy, enthusiasm, charisma and character as they share uniquely Cambodian stories from recent history, folklore or modern society,” she said.
Sevenier said the music is live and played by her students with modern and traditional instruments, while each circus show is preempted by a traditional dance performance as well.
Hence, she said visitors and tourists that spend an evening in Phare Ponleu Selpak can see the performing arts students’ wide range of skills.
Sevenier said the recognition from TripAdvisor will help boost the circus’s visibility in the country, which would bring more tourists to help support the students’ training.
Phare Ponleu Selpak is a nonprofit arts school started by nine young Cambodians returning from refugee camps in Thailand after the fall of the Khmer Rouge.
While in Thailand, they met a French drawing teacher named Veronique Decrop, who worked to help them overcome war trauma through art therapy.
The Phare Ponleu Selpak has performances three to four days a week. All shows are free and accessible to children. For more information including performance dates go to www.phareps.org.