Classical Dance Form Of Thailand

Pauline Go

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Thai people are extremely graceful in their movements and as a result their dances display elegance and fine movements. Traditional classical dancing is mixed with western culture nowadays but the old traditional elegance is still evident in Thai dances.

Thai classical dancing was a symbol which linked earth and god. It is said that they first acquired a dancing group in 1431. Later this dance form underwent a sea of changes and eventually formed a different dance style emerged with typical costumes and masks.

There are folk dances as well as regional dances. The two well known Thai classical dance forms are khon and lakon nai. In the beginning, these forms of dances were enacted specially for entertainment of the court and not for the common people. Later on a dance theater, Likay, another form of dance for the common people was developed which became extremely popular.

Khon and lakon nai are very stylist and strictly in the classical form. Where as the Likay dance form is not as elegant but depends on the common taste of the people and it is performed to humor them in a crude way.

Khon is a masked performance depicting the Thai version of the tales of Indian Ramayana, and lakon nai narrates different legendary stories. Earlier, khon dance was only performed by men and lakon nai was performed by women because of the vital distinction between the two styles. One form needed strength and quick movement and the other form required grace and restricted movement. Though, this rule is not maintained strictly in modern times.

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