Traditional Dances & Costumes of Thailand – Vibrant Aspects of an Opulent Culture
Vibrant Aspects of an Opulent Culture
The elegant dance forms in Thailand can be primarily categorised into three parts: Khon, Lakhon, and Fawn Thai. One can witness these breathtaking Thai dances at Siam Niramit, the largest stage theatre in Bangkok, which is located adjacent to many a hotel in Sukhumvit the likes of Maitria Hotel Sukhumvit 18.
One of the highest forms of arts in Thailand, Khon, was reserved for the Royals in the past. Most Khon performances are based on the Thai version of the Hindu Ramayana. Many characters are portrayed by men by using elaborate costumes and masks to perfect the disguise. This dance form requires muscular exertion and incredible agility.
An elegant dance form performed mostly by women, Lakhon, features a broader range of plots drawn from the previous lives of Lord Buddha, Ramakien, and folk tales. There are two forms of this dance; Lakhon Nai, a classic style employed by court dancers, and Lakhon Nok, the form associated with religious celebrations. The lavish costumes, the ornate headdresses shaped as stupas, add to the elegance of which these dances are performed.
The beautiful folk melodies of different regions accompany Fawn Thai, a form of folk dance. There are five styles of this dance that feature a form of candle dance, fingernail dance, butterfly dance, happy dance, and a scarf dance.
A unique dance variety in the South of Thailand, Manohra Dance portrays the love story of Prince Suthon and a half-bird, half-woman being, called Kinnari Manohra.