Where cultures converge

Previewing the annual International Dance Festival

It's the time of year again for the Friends of the Arts Foundation to bring dance companies from around the world to delight Thai audiences and also inspire young talents and professional artists.

On The Edge by Kolben Dance Company from Israel. Photos courtesy of Friends of the Arts foundation

Scheduled from tomorrow until Dec 1, the International Dance Festival 2018 will present four performances by famous troupes and dancers from seven countries, on the 4th floor of the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Pathumwan intersection.

The 18th edition of the festival will kick off with On The Edge by Kolben Dance Company from Israel, tomorrow and on Friday at 7.30pm. Choreographed by Amir Kolben, this is a poetic and energetic voyage that brings the audience closer, literally and metaphorically, to a hugging and kicking dance experience delivered by 10 strong and incredible dancers accompanied by 50 semi-professional Thai dancers.

Held with support of the Embassy of Israel, the piece explores the relationships between inner and outer tensions. The show is primarily based on the experience of living in Jerusalem, the city of peace, where there has never in history been a peaceful moment.

The festival will proceed with a triple-bill performance on Nov 29, also at 7.30pm. It will start with The Two Doors, an award-winning contemporary dance production by one of South Korea's best choreographers, Park Nahoon from Y'S U Youngsan University, that presents a truth on stage that defies a simple answer of yes or no.

Then Vararom Tavivoradilok, passionate artistic dancer and director of the Friends of the Arts Foundation, will present Amidst, a contemporary solo dance piece that investigates how one's deeds are shaped and influenced by other people's values and beliefs. The dancer, light and sound showcase how much an individual can be moved by surroundings, whether to fit in or to take a firm stand.

The last piece in the triple bill will be Cloudburst by Fauzi Amirudin, recently named one of the Top 10 Cultural Dancers in Malaysia by Top 10 Magazine. It is inspired by an unfair society wherein the rich stand on the back society.

Set for Dec 1 at 3pm is a double-bill performance. Solo will be performed by Thailand-based Taiwanese dancer/choreographer Hsin-Yu Kao, who has choreographed many dance programmes at educational institutions in Taiwan and conducted workshops in the US, Cambodia, France, the Netherlands, Turkey, Nepal, Singapore and Korea.

Medium by Tranze dance group from Mexico.

Then dancers from the Tranze contemporary dance group from Mexico will take to the stage to interpret the intangible complexities of the mind in Medium. This is an abstract representation in five episodes featuring some mental processes that occur in our brain when we experience an emotion, behaviour or condition.

The same evening will see the return of the popular T.H.E. Dance Company from Singapore to present a triple bill -- Perhaps Someone, Pure and Present -- choreographed by Dimo Kirilov Milev, Kuik Swee Boon and Kim Jae Duk, respectively. It will start at 7.30pm.

Tickets for each performance cost 700, 1,500 and 1,800 baht, and can be purchased from ticketmelon.com. There will be a post-production talk where the artistic directors of the dance companies will share their experiences (except tomorrow's show).

For more information, visit http://facebook.com/Internationaldancefestival or call 085-100-3050.

There are also three more events held as part of the "International Dance Festival 2018":

  • 1. The first "International Dance Education Expo" will take place at the Helix Garden, 5th floor of EmQuartier on Nov 24-25 from 10am to 6pm. It is said to be the biggest gathering of local and international dance schools, universities and dance companies. Both days will be packed with dance workshops on hip-hop, musical theatre, swing, street, Latin/Ballroom and khon masked dance; as well as free performances, forum discussions and film screenings. Freelance artists will also be on hand to give advice on the road to become professional.
  • 2. The "Solo Dance Competition" will be held on the 4th floor of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre on Nov 24 at 6pm. It will feature a total of 60 dancers from around the world who will be competing in contemporary dance, ballet, musical theatre and hip-hop to vie for scholarships from leading dance institutes in Europe and Asia.
  • 3. A series of free weekend workshops from contemporary dance to Bollywood open to dance students up to professional level. They will be held at Benjasiri Park, Sukhumvit Road, on Dec 1-2, Dec 15-16, Jan 19-20, Feb 2-3, Feb 16-17 and March 2-3, from 4.30pm to 6.
  • Admission to the expo is 350 baht (free for anyone who pre-registers), with the workshop fee at 600 baht per session (1,500 baht per package per day). Tickets to view the solo dance competition cost 700, 1,500 and 1,800 baht and can be purchased from http://ticketmelon.com.