Changing Lives Through…Circus!

Meet Long, Souhan and Manut, 3 of our lovely students, and learn more about our Circus curriculum.


Long, 14

I’m going to the circus school every day because I want to become a professional acrobat and juggler. When In the future, I would like to travel the world and perform all over the world. I would like to earn enough money to support my family!

Souhan, 18

I love circus because it pushes me to be better at school, but also during my spare time. My parents are very proud of me because they know that I work hard to succeed and fulfill my dreams.

Manut, 12

I still don’t know if I want to be an acrobat ora juggler. For the moment I am very happy because I’m making a lot of friends at the circus school and I train to become stronger and improve my skills. Later, I would love to become a professional circus performer and work at the circus in Battambang!

Juggling, acrobatics, aerial arts, clowning, balance… Besides being taught by local teachers and performing weekly under our Big Top for locals as well as tourists, students learn from international artists and tour around Cambodia and overseas to improve their techniques and get inspiration from international modern circuses. After graduating our program, some students continue their passion as professional performers thanks to Phare, The Cambodian Circus, a performing social enterprise founded in 2013 and located in Siem Reap.

Our Circus curriculum was initiated in 1997 by one of our co-founders, Khuon Det. Initially, the circus school was a simple plastic tent covering a bamboo frame without the necessary materials – The safety mattresses were made from bags of rice!

The department has developed from a so-called social circus into a robust educational circus curriculum! Under our Big Top, our students share unique Cambodian stories from recent history, folklore, and modern society.


  • Several of our students have acquired internationally successful careers, two of them, SOK Dina and NEM Sopha, now performing with Cirque du Soleil!
  • In 2017, the co-founder of Phare Ponleu Selpak and director of the Performing Arts School, KHUON Det, was honored with the title of the Knight of the Order of Arts and Literature by the French Ministry of Arts and Culture for his efforts in the revival of arts and support to the youth through the arts in Cambodia.