Thai classical dance lovers will be in for another treat as the Support Foundation presents its next khon masked dance performance with the episode of "Jong Tanon" in November.
A battle scene from the show.
The performance will celebrate the 80th birthday anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen, the foundation's royal patron.
After the success of the previous Ramayana episodes, starting with "Prommas" in 2009, "Nang Loi" in 2010 and "Suek Maiyarap" last year, the Support Foundation is ready to showcase "Jong Tanon". The series also aims to preserve khon masked dance, arguably the most refined of all Thai performance arts, according to Thanpuying Charungjit Teekara, assistant to the secretary-general of the Support Foundation.
Khon not only demands the most highly skilled dancers for the roles, but also combines other artistic skills in the creation of costumes, accessories, props and scenery.
As with previous performances, "Jong Tanon" offered an opportunity for younger dancers to audition for various roles. The "Jong Tanon" episode is based on the written work of King Rama II, with additional scenes produced by instructors from the Department of Fine Arts. The script has been adapted and tightened to heighten its dramatic storyline, enhanced with voiceovers and dialogue that combine to make the show beautiful, authentic and fun to watch for all generations.
Several modern theatrical techniques have been introduced in keeping with the times, such as the underwater scene where Hanuman dives into the water to find out what happened to the missing stones. There, the flirtatious Hanuman catches the mermaid, Nang Suphanmatcha, and makes her his wife.
New costumes have been commissioned for this performance, with the beautiful "Pa Yok Muang" from Nakhon Si Thammarat as an integral part of the textiles. Several new royal vehicles have also been created for the battle scene.
"The battle scene, which appears in Act 2, presents another novelty since the demon god, Ravana, actually goes to battle himself while in other episodes he employs his relatives to fight on his behalf," said Pramet Boonyachai, the director of the performance.
"This scene involves more than 100 performers with enhanced technical effects that will create a memorable spectacle not to be missed."