for her performance as the little ugly baby duckling was the fearless little
Chiang Mai Ballet director, ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, again
brought the power and beauty of ballet to Chiang Mai, where as artistic
director, she brought over 300 participants to this week’s performances at
the Kad theatre to delight local enthusiasts and dignitaries.
Her dancers brought to life the Ugly Duckling, a popular
tale by Hans Christian Andersen from the year 1844 which had been adapted to
suit the year 2006, by incorporating traditional and modern dance. The
performance gave an insight to the variety of dance styles being taught at
the Ballet Academy with jazz, tap, hip-hop, flamenco, modern and classical
ballet dancers to impress the audience.
The characters led the enraptured audience through summer
scenes when swans receive their offspring and could watch yellow sunflowers,
colorful butterflies and different groups of animals such as squirrels (tap
dance), beetles (jazz) and turkeys (flamenco) on stage, but most
importantly, introduced the fearless baby duckling (Arisara Ruksalikit)
looking for love.
Drama set in when autumn and the wild geese arrived, and
the scenery changed to winter with the poor little ugly duckling left alone
to die in the slowly freezing lake. Towards the end when spring returned and
our little duckling found out that she was no longer a dark grey bird but a
graceful and beautiful swan, the message became clear that after having
suffered sorrow and trouble, life still enables people to enjoy pleasure and
This carried the audience to part two of the 2006
production of the Chiang Mai ballet’s performance, Swan Lake Act II, one
of the most interesting scenes that Lev Ivanov, the Russian ballet master
had choreographed in 1894 with various interesting dance patterns created on
his chess board. Tchaikovsky’s lighthearted music allowed the famous
‘Four Little Swans’ corps de ballet and the romantic pas de deux between
Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried perform magnificently with three
dominant male dancers, Peera Phantlukthao, currently working in the UK;
Angus Wilmot from the Marie-Walton-Mahon Dance Academy Australia and
Prawattisad Laothong from the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts at
The choreography showed the talents, strength, poise,
grace, and elegance of the local production, and the minimalism of the set
allowed the characters to stand out and emphasized emotions without looking
forced. Costuming was similarly outstanding and would hold its own on any
Having two sold out performances at the 1500 seat Kad
theatre, demonstrating the confidence and skill of the young dancers, their
enjoyment in entertaining the audience and listening to the enthusiastic
applause at the end showed that artistic director ML Preeyapun Sridhavat’s
ideas, inspirations, ideals and efforts are paying off.
Flowers for the cast and a prize draw for air tickets,
sponsored by Thai Airways International (THAI) concluded the program.
deux with Prince Siegfried (Peera Phantlukthao) and Princess Odette
(Sarassanan Chantharabart), while the evil Rothbart (Angus Wilmot) returns
to separate the couple.
of the wind’ and ‘Glory of Love’, sung by Maneenuch Smarasut, one of
Thailand’s top singers, with her group of talented children.
Dance’ performed by adorable little squirrels.
coordination was always full of enthusiasm, with some of the baby dancers as
eggs and little swans.
Welcoming dance of the Swans.
front row (from right) Artistic Director ML Preeyapun Sridhavat, Tanawat
Hiranyalekha, District Sales Manager THAI; Chiang Mai governor Suwat
Tantipat with two of the lucky draw winners, singer Maneenuch Smarasut and
on the right MCs Khun Aom and Michael Vogt.