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May 2020

History and Culture > Thai Theatre and Dance

Thai Theatre and Dance in Thailand

Thailand's pride in maintaining its national heritage is reflected through the preservation of Thai theatre and dance in the modern era.

Worth seeing

In Thailand, traditional theatre and dance are fully intertwined. Likay, Khon and Lakon Nai are all forms of classical Thai drama that utilize dance as a storytelling medium. Each enjoys a following in contemporary Thailand where there is a pride in maintaining national heritage. The differences in these arts are subtle. Khon solely depicts the ancient story of Ramakien, whereas Lakon Nai takes its themes from a range of Thai legends. In some styles of dance/theatre masks are worn, in others they are not. To ensure the purity of the arts, Thai theatre and dance are fully supported by the country's royal family and enjoy a sanctity often reserved for more religious activities. Like elsewhere, in contemporary Thai arts there is a clear division between theatre and dance. Driven by experimentation amongst students from various arts facilities, many theatres and institutions now host modern productions with greater western influence than in previous eras.

Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (Sala Chaloem Krung)

Opened in 1933, Chalermkrung Royal Theatre (Sala Chaloem Krung) specialises in performances of 'Khon' - traditional Thai dances of around two hours in duration which carry a storyline based on...
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Hun Lakon Lek at Aksra Theatre

The Aksra Hoon Lakorn Lek is a performance of traditional Thai puppets that takes place at the Aksra Theatre, 3rd floor of King Power Complex Building on Soi Rang Nam. Aksra Theatre is one of the...
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Patravadi Theatre

Founded by actress Miss Patravadi Mejudhon, Bangkok's first open-air theatre is located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River, directly opposite the Grand Palace and next to Wat Rakang -...
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The National Theatre

Thailand's National Theatre predominantly shows Thai Classical drama and features performances of Khon - drama where players wear traditional Thai masks. These are truly wonderful productions;...
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