Ongoing until March 25, the world's leading dance troupes show off their best moves in
“The past eight festivals have played a part, along with other dance activities in Thailand, in showing to the general public that contemporary dance is not that difficult to understand—for me, it’s easier than classical ballet,” says Vararom Pachimsawat, the director of friends of the Arts Foundation and artistic director of the festival.
“Also, this experience has opened up the perceptions of local dancers and choreographers of many generations. Many have realized that in order to be a good dancer you should never limit yourself to only classical ballet or jazz dance and even stage actors join dance workshops—they know that all genres of performing arts are interrelated.”
The shrinking economy has shrunk most cultural events, but not the International Dance Festival. The ninth edition of the fest has attracted more of the world's top troupes than ever before.
“It is our ninth year organizing this festival and we have more cultural partners [various foreign embassies and cultural institutions]. Over the years, the outdoors stage has had technical limitations, and some participating artists wished that some of their performances staged indoors in the theatre.”
“Of course, there remain many free events (at
“The focus, as always, is on [various styles of] contemporary dance, rather than full-scale classical works like ‘
A doyenne of
“Another exciting work is ‘Touch’ by
A new work is born out of last year’s festival, “The Last Silver Crane”, a collaboration of Israel’s Idan Cohen; Thailand’s contemporary dancers May Yimsai and Olivier Vinkler, Khon master Julachart Aranyanak; and Sri Lanka’s percussionist Ravibandhu Vidyapathy. Vararom says, “After last year’s festival [in which another Israeli dancer/ choreographer Ido Tadmor performed], Ido initiated this idea of working with a Khon dancer, and I suggested master Julachart as he has had experiences in intercultural collaborations.”
Plus, the participating dancers and choreographers will conduct master classes at Dance Centre in Central World all day from Monday (March 16) to Friday (March 20). Varorom says, “Despite the 12 ticketed performances [at Centerpoint Playhouse and Aksra Theatre], the festival is not a commercial event and the foundation is first and foremost education-based.”
“International Dance Festival
written by Pawit Mahasarinand
published in Daily Xpress on Friday, March 13, 2009
photo courtesy of Friends of the Arts Foundation
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