Traditional Thai Khon Dance – Performances in Israel

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The classical dance drama of Thailand will come to Israel at the initiative of Thailand’s Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Jukr Boon-Long.  A cast of 16 dancers and 9 musicians will present the epic stories, elaborate costumes and intricate choreography of Thailand’s traditional dance form Khon, with performances in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem on February 27 and 28, 2013. It is a rare opportunity to experience the splendor of Thai dance, and admission is free!

The year 2014 will be the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Israel and Thailand. These dance performances will herald the festivities of the year to come, in the planning are a film festival, puppet festival and other cultural activities.

Photo courtesy of Baharm Sikiri
Photo courtesy of Baharm Sikiri

The dances to be performed are choreographed by Anucha Thirakanont, Ph.D, an expert on Thai cultural traditions and performing arts. Khon, a dance form which first appeared between 1400 and 1700, is based on the Hindu Ramayana epic, the struggle between good and evil, known in Thai culture as Ramakien. The performance integrates many arts: song, dance, acrobatics, acting and music. One dance, performed by men, employs puppets, carried and manipulated by the male dancers; another, the Phu Tai, is traditionally performed by women with elongated finger nails, clasping red flowers.

The elaborate costumes, made of silk and other fine fabrics, weigh between 10 and 20 kilograms. The process of dressing can take several hours, in the final stage, the dancer is sewn into the costume moments before taking the stage.

Performances:
Tel Aviv, Habima Theatre, Meskin Hall – Wednesday, February 27, 2013. Two performances: at 17:30 and 20:00. Call 072-2222515 to reserve a place.

Jerusalem, Gerard Behar Center, 11 Bezalel Street, Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 20:30. Call 02-6251139 to reserve a place.