Uniquely Cambodian and daringly modern, Phare is more than just a circus. With its amazing story and incredible volume of work, this circus troupe is transforming the lives of Cambodian youth while putting on shows packed full of edge-of-your-seat acrobatics and hilarious clown routines.
Experience a Cambodian story told with high-energy, adrenaline-pumping action in a circus extravaganza that’s perfect for all ages. Eclipse is a tale of rejection, revenge, forgiveness and resilience set to original music and told with a mix of theatre, dance and mind-blowing circus skills.
In a rural Cambodian village, a disfigured young man is rejected and ridiculed. He wonders why he is cursed and seeks help from the gods who answer his prayers by transforming him into a beautiful woman with magical powers. Using this new form, he attracts the attention and desire of the village men. But the villagers quickly discover there’s something sinister about the newcomer in their midst. Eclipse asks how far would someone go to fight back against rejection and bullying?
Phare artists are graduates of the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus School in Battambang, Cambodia, a school founded in 1994 by nine young men returning home from a refugee camp after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. They had taken art therapy courses at the camp and wanted to share the healing power of art with poor, socially deprived and troubled youth. They started with drawing classes taught to a handful of students and soon opened a public school, then a music school, theatre school and circus school. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the vocational arts training programs. In 2013, the school created Phare, The Cambodian Circus as a social enterprise based in Siem Reap. The mission was to create job opportunities for graduates of the circus school and give back almost 75% of its profits to support the school’s programming. Phare, The Cambodian Circus performs nightly under a big top in Siem Reap and has been seen by tens of thousands of people. Their productions have also toured extensively around the world.
‘Phare is no ordinary circus, but an edgy, alternative, down-to-earth, all-singing-and-dancing Cambodian circus.’
‘Strands of theatre, dance, music, storytelling and circus arts… in a sophisticated hour-long show.’
New York Times
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