SIEM REAP, Cambodia // Phare is the Cambodia Cirque du Soleil. I have seen Ka and O in Las Vegas, as well as Wintuk in NYC, and Phare is on the same level. It is an acrobatics act combined with a story of revenge and acceptance. It's performed entirely by street kids who have been training for extended periods of time to do things such as climb poles, juggle fire, do flips, and balance in strange ways. We always wondered where the performers in Las Vegas came from, and we figured that this show is probably a feeder program. Rarely at times did they ever mess up, but when they did it made you realize the difficulty of the feat that they were performing.
We left our guesthouse and arrived about a half hour early where the stage is in the middle, and the audience is in a horseshoe shape viewing area for a more intimate experience. We bought the cheapest tickets, were in about the 5th row and 30 feet from the action. There are about 20 performers, all probably around age 16, and in phenomenal shape. The show lasted about 90 minutes and really lived up to the expectations. The craziest parts for me was this guy doing a handstand on two sticks, then lifting off one of his hands and bending his body sideways. I didn’t even think this was physically possible.
The whole show is professionally done, and you could tell that so much time and effort went into this performance by these kids. This show is a must see for anyone visiting Siem Reap.