A masterpiece of classical Khmer dance-drama, The Legend of Apsara Mera is a highlight of Season of Cambodia, a citywide living arts festival presenting more than 125 of the country's leading performing artists, visual artists, filmmakers, and scholars.
A centuries-old form, Cambodian classical dance was developed in the royal court; historically all roles, regardless of gender, have generally been danced by women.
The Legend of Apsara Mera, choreographed by Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi--the foremost dancer of her generation in the 1960s--in collaboration with masters Proeung Chhieng and Soth Somaly, tells the mythical tale of Cambodia's founding, drawing on episodes from the epic poem Reamker, the Khmer version of the Sanskrit Ramayana. The
work features more than 20 dancers as well as singers and an on-stage Cambodian pin peat instrumental ensemble.