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Fauwn Leb / Identity

Waewdao Sirisook and Ronnarong Khampha in traditional Lanna clothes before the transformation into modern dance.

By Christopher Sujarit
“Fauwn Leb, the traditional fingernail dance of Northern Thailand, has come to serve as a marketable representation of Lanna culture and its heritage, while simultaneously being distorted by diverse economic and political forces. In this duet created by two contemporary practitioners, Waewdao Sirisook and Ronnarong Khampha perform with depth and humor, recounting early life experiences that drew them to Fauwn Leb—and the divergent lives they now lead—to reflect the dynamic vitality of contemporary Lanna society and the fundamental tensions within artistic and cultural representations.”
A cozy crowd of a hundred filled the auditorium of CMU’s Art Centre to see Waewdao and Ronnarong, the dynamic and talented pair of Fauwn Leb, a 45- minute performance full of fascinating dances and wry comedic interludes. The script is a friendly mix of Thai and English and was tailored for a mixed audience.
Fauwn Leb’s serves as an entertaining introduction to Lanna performance- the dance pieces include spoken word elucidating elements that make Lanna exceptional from the rest of Thailand.
Over the 45 minutes, Waewdao and Ronnarong slowly disrobe and eventually end up in silly cartoon pajamas (the middle portion gets a tad bit risqué). Changing from traditional Lanna dance and costume to modern dance in pajamas, the pair elegantly dismantle the gender roles prescribed by traditional norms. The comedic interludes poke fun at the “50 most uncomfortable situations in Lanna culture,”- irksome events such as fish bones stuck between teeth, and impotence. The comedy exposes hypocritical and archaic components of traditional gender roles.

 


What’s street art?

The exhibition of graphic arts called “What’s Street Art opened at Sangdee Gallery on August 11, 2014 and saw not just pieces of graffiti art but performances and sculptures. The event, held in collaboration with Surface Arts UK, tells the story of Street Art through various pieces of work and included the exchange of learning through demos, presentation and team work between the artists and audience. The exhibit is on display at Sangdee Gallery, Sirimangkalajarn Soi 5 is on until August 30, 2014. (Photo courtesy of LiLi Tan)


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Fauwn Leb / Identity

What’s street art?