Although Chiang Mai’s Ballet aficionados are well taken
care of by local and renowned Ballet schools, they miss out on modern dance
acts. Last weekend, however, they had a very special treat and, not
surprisingly, the Kad Theater was almost filled to capacity.
language MC of the evening Cheryl Penney, H.S.H. Prince Bhisadej Rajani and
company, event organizer Linda Buck and the Thai MC of the night, Miss Aom.
To raise funds for the Chiang Mai School Cricket Alliance
and Zonta’s School Funding for orphans, Linda Buck, Cheryl Penny and ML
Preeyapun Sridhavat, the artistic Director of the Chiangmai Ballet Academy,
organized the performance of “The Ugly Duckling through the Four
Seasons”, staged by Chiangmai Ballet Academy plus “Imaginaire”,
performed by the 16 member ensemble from The Dancers’ Company of Brigham
Young University, Utah, USA.
from (center) H.S.H. Prince Bhisadej for (left) artistic director Rebecca
Wright Philipps and representative of the BYU Dancers Michelle Nielsen and
(right) artistic director for the Ugly Duckling and dance workshop organizer
ML Preeyapun Sridhavat and American Coordinator Jonathan Wood.
“The Ugly Duckling” was the ‘warm up’ for the
audience and was inspired by the 200 year old Hans Christian Andersen tale.
Both Tchaikovsky’s classic music and the more upbeat rhythms of today
created an up-to-date mix, performed by our local dancers. After only one
week of intense practice, the audience, including HSH Prince Bhisadej Rajani
and members of the diplomatic corps, thoroughly enjoyed the high standards
they are now accustomed to see from the local cast.
comedy! Using crutches to push themselves through space to the strains of
Mozart and poke fun at the ever so serious classical dancers.
Artistic Director Rebecca Wright Philipps, on behalf of
the whole Brigham Young University ensemble, expressed her delight to be
here in Chiang Mai, and was sincerely surprised to see so many people in the
audience. The program was divided into two show blocks, and included a
vibrant mix of music, comedy, acrobatic, and the “classic” art of
Very much appreciated was the bi-lingual explanation, as
it was possible for the Thai and the foreign audience to follow the scripts
and understand the meaning behind the program, which went much deeper than
just visual entertainment. The 16 member ensemble sent a message with each
dance, beginning with ‘Genesis’ and images of light, led to an intimate
duo performance about companionship and included a comic approach, much to
the delight of the children. Part two started with a piece called ‘Steppin
2005’, an American version of the Irish ‘River Dance’, but Irish music
was replaced by a combination of African rhythms, funk, blues and rap. Rap
has its roots in the South African gum boot dances and migrated to American
soil, adopting new movements and cultural changes.
‘warm up’ the audience Chiangmai Ballet Academy showed their version of
“The Ugly Duckling”.
The only letdown was that the organizers did not leave
time for an intermission between the two parts as the young and older
audience members found 150 minutes is quite long to sit still, even for a
non stop quality program.
Nevertheless, the cheering and applause after each show was thunderous
and a huge “Thank you” goes out to all involved, for bringing
world-class educational family entertainment to Chiang Mai. The performance
enhanced the culture of our city and will help the Chiang Mai School Cricket
Alliance and Zonta’s School Funding for orphans.
Our Valleys’ was the name of the dance, dedicated to all individuals who
survived America’s Great Depression in the 1930s.
a dance with yet another message as it showed the deterioration of society
with the dancers moving in perfect unison and gradually moving toward chaos.
showstopper when the artists created hilarious shapes with foam mattresses
and danced frenetically. Kad theatre was roaring with laughter.
pioneering spirit, the waiting for rain, and unity at the end, all with
traditional folk hymns in the background.
and leaping off mini trampolines onto foam mattresses.
wings! The most elegant dance at the end with pieces of material floating
with the same grace as the artists.