Thailand comes to Mumbai! This troupe is all set to entertain you in Fort

Updated: Mar 09, 2017, 10:21 IST | Krutika Behrawala

This weekend, a troupe from the Land of Smiles flies down with brass cymbals and masks to give you a taste of Thai culture

If yove've visited Chiang Mai, a charming historical city in north Thailand that was the capital of Lanna Kingdom until 1558, you would've experienced the Khantoke dinner and cultural show held every evening at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre. Here, over a meal of authentic Lanna pork and fried pumpkin dishes, guests get to enjoy traditional Thai music and dance performances, which include swords, fire and six inch-long fingernails.

To witness similar sights (sans the dinner) here, head to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) this weekend. The museum's lawns will host a three-day event titled Namaste Thailand In Mumbai, organised by The Royal Thai Consulate-General. It celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India.

The event kick-starts on March 10 with an invite-only opening ceremony presided by HE Vira Rojpojchanarat, Minister of Culture of Thailand. Open to public over the next two days, it will showcase a host of performances by a 20-artiste contingent, trained from Bunditpanatasilpa Institute in Thailand. The line-up includes dances from the four regions — north, central, south and northeastern — along with masked dance shows and Thai martial arts showcase.

On: March 11 and 12, 4.30 pm onwards AT CSMVS, Fort.
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What to catch

Nang Yai and Khon Dance
Witness a mixed performance of Nang Yai, the traditional shadow play performed using large carved leather panels, and Khon, the royal masked dance. The performance narrative is derived from the Ramayana and the artistes represent Hanuman, who is in pursuit of Ravana's brother Viruncamban.

Khan Dok and Fon Tee
These are the dances from north Thailand. Khan Dok, loosely translated as 'a dance of a bowl of flower', is performed as an ode to the Three Jewels of Buddhism — Lord Buddha, dharma and monks. Meanwhile, Fon Tee or the Umbrella Dance showcases the Lanna way of living.

Ram Sat Chatri
A form of dance-drama popular in the southern parts of the Thailand, especially Petchaburi Province, the chatri dance is the prototype of all forms of Thai dance–drama, which have been modified in successive periods. Traditionally, the troupe's leading male dancer performs a prelude, known as Ram Sat, with pipe and drums.

The graceful dance is actually a ceremony of paying homage to the dancer teacher. In this performance, the original Ram Sat has been adapted for group dancing by both, male and female dancer.

Thai Brass Cymbal Dance
Originating in central Thailand, the dance aims to conserve the traditional Thai instrument. The brass cymbals are usually played in a band to offer teasing sounds along with other percussion instruments.

Tari Bunga
Used as a way of celebration and entertainment in southern Thailand, Tari Bunga performances can be widely witnessed at a number of festivals including bird parades and wedding ceremonies. Each dancer carries a flower tray to join a parade.

The moves are elegant and swift, reflecting the charm and joie de vivre of the women of this region.

Gap Gaep Lam Plern and Ponglang Dance
These are the dances of the northeastern Thailand aka the Isan region. The former showcases a pair of short and long sticks used to produce tempo. Meanwhile, Ponglang is a fast-paced Folk dance performed by young unmarried people in the local costume called Serng.

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