Cambodia’s premier performing art form is the Khmer classical dance, or Robam Preah Reach Trop, a highly stylized dance form originating from the royal courts. Performances of classical dance consist of elaborately costumed dancers and music played by a pinpeat ensemble. It is performed for invocation of deities and spirits as well as to pay homage to royalty and guests.
In the mid-20th century, it was introduced to the general public and became widely celebrated as iconic of Cambodian culture, often being performed during public events, holidays, and for tourists visiting Cambodia. Two of the most performed classical dance are the Robam Chuon Por (“Wishing dance”) and the Robam Tep Apsara (“Apsara dance”).