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Dance of Thailand

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Thai dance (Ram Thai or Rabam) is the main dramatic art form of Thailand. Thai dance, like many forms of traditional Asian dance, can be divided into two major categories that correspond roughly to the high art (classical dance) and low art (folk dance) distinction.


Thai classical dance drama include Khon, Lakhon, and Fawn Thai. Folk dance forms include dance theatre forms like Likay as well as numerous regional dances (Ram) and the ritual dance. Ram Muay. and homage to the teacher. Wai Khru. both of which take place before all traditional Muay Thai matches. The Wai is also an annual ceremony performed by Thai classical dance groups to honor their artistic ancestors.


Thai Classical Dance Drama




Khon is the most stylised form of Thai dance. It is performed by troupes of non-speaking dancers, the story being told by a chorus at the side of the stage. Choreography follows traditional models rather than attempting to innovate.


Most khon performances feature episodes from the Ramakien. Costumes are dictated by tradition, with demons wearing coloured masks.




Lakhon features a wider range of stories than khon, including folk tales and Jataka stories. Dancers are usually female and perform as a group rather than representing individual characters.


Fawn Thai


Fawn Thai is usually divided into five different major styles: Fawn Tian (Candle Dance); Fawn Leb (Finger nail Dance); Fawn Ngiew (Scarf Dance); Fawn Marn Gumm Ber (Butterfly Dance); and Fawn Marn Mong Kol (Happy Dance)


Thai Folk Dance




Likay is much more varied than lakhon or khon. Stories may be original, and include singing, comedy and ham acting. Costumes may be traditional, modern or a combination of the two. Likay is often performed at village festivals.


Ram Muay


See also: Ram Muay and Muay Thai

Ram Muay is the ritualized dance that takes place before Southeast Asian kickboxing matches such as Muay Thai.


Wai Khru


See also: Wai Khru and Wai khru ram muay

Wai Khru is a ritualized form of dance meant to pay respect to, or homage to the khru or teacher. It is performed annually by Thai classical dance institutions as well as before Muay Thai matches.


Other regional Thai classical and folk dance styles


List of other regional folk dance styles: Pleng Cha-Pleng Reo; Mae Bot Lek; Rabam Chiangsaen; Tawai praporn; Rabam Tawarawadee; Baisri sukwan; Manora Buchayan; Uayporn Oonwan; Chuichai Bhram; Chuichai Benyakai; Sinuan Worachet; Chuichai Wantong; Sinuan Arnu; Rabam Loburi; Klidda Phinihan; Rabam Srichaisinghn; Rabam Sriwichai; Keb Baicha; Rabam Sukhothai; Rabam Dowwadueng; Nora Dance; Bugna Lampai; Choom-num Pao Thai; Kinnaree Ron; Sad Chatri; Soeng Praewa; Krailassamrerng; Ten Kam Ram Keow; Soeng Sawing; Ramwong


Extracted from Wikipedia: Dance of Thailand

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