The Circus Department at Phare Ponleu Selpak began in 1998. Today, the Battambang circus school is an open space where any child from the surrounding communities can come to study the circus arts. Our most advanced students can complete the vocational training to enter the market as professional artists.
Each of our performances combine Cambodian folklore with modern day issues. Since the first professional performance in 2002, Phare Ponleu Selpak’s circus troupes have toured every year in Cambodia and around the world.
The circus school curriculum focuses on the major disciplines of juggling, acrobatics, aerial acts, clowning, and balance. The school is divided into three levels: Leisure, Preparatory, and Secondary. Classes are taught by local Cambodian teachers and foreign volunteers.
- 7 to 8 years-old
- 1 or 2 hours/week
- Students train mostly with games and focus on the basics of flexibility, physical exercise and acrobatics.
- 9 to 11 years-old
- 2 hours/day, 2 days/week
- There are three years in the preparatory class, 1st year for exploratory, 2nd and 3rd year for development.
- Students train across the disciplines of acrobatics, balance, flexibility, and physical exercise. In this level, the students need to learn other support skills in theatre, dance and music.
Secondary (Vocational Training)
- 12 to 17+ years-old
- 5 days/week
- Students must choose two skills for their professional training. Additionally, they must practice acrobatics, flexibility, and physical exercise to support their selected skills.
- Students take other additional courses in theatre, music, dance, technical work, general education, and soft skills.
- After graduation from this level, circus students must tour France three times before they become professional artists.
Catch one of our Battambang circus shows here under the Big Top! We have at least two shows a week, often more. Check the schedule to find out when you can see a PPSA Circus performance!