Apsara Dance draws its inspiration from the mythological court of the gods and from its celestial dancers, the Apsaras. The dance took on its own unique form adding movements and meaning, during the reigns of Jayavarman II and Jayavarman VII as well as in the Angkor era.
By the 13th century, the dance was assuming a Khmer identity rather than Indian – the source of its roots. It combined gentle movements with loud, traditional Khmer music during its performance. In that era, Apsara dance was performed solely for the benefit of the upper class, and particularly for the king.
Apsara dancers’ fingers are extraordinarily elastic; so much so that they can bend their fingers backwards almost to the wrist and training starts when they are so young that their bones are still supple.