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Dancers of Thailand

Like anywhere else in Asia, Thai Dance is an excellent window to the soul of Thailand.

At a dance performance, you will hear traditional music, see traditional costumes, and in many cases you will learn something about the traditional stories and myths.

There are plenty of dance performances, just ask at a hotel and you'll find one.

Dancers flash the famous Thai smile

Yet, dance in Thailand befuddles me.
It's easy to find, but it's hard to find out about.
It's everywhere, but information is nowhere.

I have five large books about Thailand, and none of them carry any information about dance.
This surprises me, because dance appears to be popular.

In both Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are nightly performances. And the shows are attended by Thai people, as well as foreigners.

There are many different Thai dances. They appear to fit into three main categories.

First, there are royal dances.

These dances are full of grace and elegance. Movements are slow and stately.
The hands and feet are the most important part of the dancer, as the positions signify many meanings.
The costumes are made of silk, with gold trim.

Most of the dances in Bangkok are of this type.

The Nail Dance

Second, there are the folk dances.

These dances are lively and energetic. They are often more sexual in the movements.

While the hands are still important, the dance steps are more athletic than those of the royal dances.

Many of these folk dances come from the hill tribes of Northern Thailand.
The costumes reflect the materials of the tribes,
and the accompaniment is a more lively, rhythmic style of music.

The Chiang Mai night market is a great place to see folk dances. There are free performances almost every night.
I watched the show on three consecutive nights, and there were different dances and dancers each night.

It appeared that the show was as much for the locals, as for the tourists.

Finally, there are the story dances, such as the Khon dance.
The Khon is a masked dance that tells the Ramayana story.
There are other story dances that are best compared to Western musicals. These story dances use male performers.

Many Thai dances, such as the fan dance or the nail dance, use props.

The Fan Dance

Another Pretty Thai Girl (yawn..)

A word about Thai women.

Yes, the Thai smile is world famous.
But it's difficult to rank the Thai smile any higher than
Thai hair,
Thai skin,
Thai eyes,
Thai lips,
Thai legs,
Thai charm,
Thai grace,
Thai style,
Tie me down and stop me now!

It seems obvious that God created Thai women after he learned his lessons from all the women in the world.

All the women of the world have their own charms, and the Thai woman has all of them.

Of course it's just a theory....