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Arts - Entertainment & It

Two Master Artists

An art exhibition featuring two well known Thai artists will be held at Galerie Panisa starting on December 2.

Insom Wongsam is one of Thailand’s National aAtists, having received that distinction in the Visual Arts (sculpture) in 1999. A Northerner, he was born in Pasang in Lamphun where his father was a goldsmith. He traveled from Thailand to Italy in 1961 on a Lambretta scooter after he graduated from Silpakorn University in a bid to visit Florence.

He started woodcuts and opened a gallery in the United States but returned to Thailand in 1974 where he built a log cabin in a degraded forest which he brought back to life. He changed to wood carving there and has since produced many sculptures

Pichai Nirand is the other National Artist on display, honored in Painting in 2003, he was invited to make the illustrations for HM the King’s book The Story of Mahanajaka. This exhibition features both landscape paintings and Buddhist paintings evoking a sense of philosophy and beliefs.

Galerie Panisa is located at 189 Mahidol Road and is closed on Sundays.

PTIS International School hosts Opera Under the Stars

The cast of the PTIS hosted opera gala show “Opera Under the Stars” included members of the European Chamber Opera Company and Bangkok Opera Company.

By Christopher Hall

On 17 November over 150 guests gathered by the lake at PTIS International School’s amphitheatre for an evening of grand opera performed by singers from Portugal, Spain and Thailand.

Stars from the European Chamber Opera Company and Bangkok Opera Company travelled to Chiang Mai for their second visit, following a very successful concert in 2010.  The recent concert under the stars gave soprano Pimluk Vessawasdi the opportunity to fulfil one of her dreams – performing in an outdoor arena – a dream she has held since attending a New York open-air performance some time ago.  Stefan Paul Sanchez, Artistic Director of the European Chamber Opera Company (ECHO) proved that opera need not be a stuffy, stale affair, charming the members of the audience with his comic antics during many of the more light-hearted songs from such operas as Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

The concert included many popular songs from a wide range of operas:  La Traviata, Cosi fan Tutti, The Marriage of Figaro and La Bohème as well as some lesser-known songs from operas such as Simon Boccanegra and Gianni Schicchi.

The venue was “a magical experience” according to one visitor.  The evening started with a stroll along candle-lit pathways to the PTIS amphitheatre where flood lights illuminated the trees and sparkled on the lake.  A grand piano gleamed dimly in the starlight – but was brought to life by the talented fingers of pianist Arithas Udomtasnee, currently Professor of Piano at Mahidol University Bangkok.  A display of fireworks and sky rockets lit up the evening sky at the end of the concert.

“Thank you for bringing opera to Chiang Mai!” a visitor enthused as she left with stars in her eyes and performers’ autographs firmly clutched in her hand.  Opera Under the Stars will return in November 2012 and further information may be obtained from the organisers at [email protected] 

Chiang Mai hosts the 11th International Dance Festival 2011

On the auspicious occasion of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej 84th birthday celebration. Friends-of-the-Arts Foundation and Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, Ministry of Culture will organize the International Dance Festival 2011 on December 3 and 4 at Chiang Mai Playhouse Entertainment Complex.

In the 11th year of the festival most of the performances are geared towards contemporary dance productions as originally planned since the year 2000. An evening of double bill performances by T42 Dance projects from Switzerland and Last Number perform by Chiara Rosenthal will be on Saturday Dec. 3. Six workshops for professional dancers and beginners will be during the two days of the festival. Free performances of students from local dance companies and Chiang Mai Ballet and Jazz association and dance film “Collective Identity” 

Some of the highlights program this year are the T42 dance project from Switzerland.  T42 is an exuberantly energetic duet that juxtaposes Swiss and Japanese cultures through an encounter between a Swiss man and a Japanese woman whose language difficulties are humorously overcome through warm-hearted movement. T42 Dance Projects is comprised of Félix Duméril and Misato Inoue.

The Last Number is another highlight;  a spectacular dance by Chiara Rosenthal from Italy. The snakes and ladders, a left-handed spiral, the oldest form of board game of Chinese origin, handed down through the centuries intact in the symbolism attached to his number 63. A mystical journey, initiation, and anthropological research of the essence of the meaning of life, to anyone who has the courage to get involved, to look within and address the milestones of their lives. An archetypal path that brings us inexorably to grow to a beginning, a 1, in which everything is contained and understood, and nut after nut, lap after lap, gradually a new beginning, a rebirth ... continues to victory, an allegory of reunification with Mother Nature Nirvana or whatever God you believe!

Sandra Ingrid dance company from Romania will present Collective Identity it’s a short film based on the idea of building a collectivity by destroying the personal identity; Combining elements of classical ballet in a powerful postmodernist technique and working with emotions that generate movements, the film is a travel search into the mind of the performers and most off all into their feeling.

Excerpts from The Nutcracker Suite from the Students of Russian ballet Thailand and solos by first prize winners from the 13th Asia Pacific Dance Competition from Chiang Mai Ballet Academy as well as  solo by Krit Prarom , the winner of More Than Dance Competition.

Ticket reservations at Playhouse  Chiang Mai tel 053-410671., [email protected] (PR)

CAPTION: DANCE: T42 will be performing at the 11th Annual International Dance Festival at the Chiang Mai Playhouse Entertainment December 3 and 4, 2011.

American Documentary showcases award winning films

Steven Klein, Producer of Make Believe, introduces the film and discusses the making of the documentary.

By Shana Kongmun

The American Documentary Showcase sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General and U.S. Embassy to Thailand features award winning films from American directors and producers and the quality of documentaries on offer was apparent with the short film on sustainable ranching and the opening film titled Make Believe.

The packed audience enjoyed the first short, which featured ranchers performing sustainable ranching practices in New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. The wide open spaces of Texas and magnificent scenery of the Rockies kept the largely Thai crowd just as enthralled as seeing real life cowboys live a lifestyle so familiar and yet so different from Thailand.

Melinda Levin answers questions from the audience about her short documentary.

Director Melinda Levin, CINE: Winner of Golden Eagle Award 2011 for this short film, noted that at a showing in Khon Kaen one of the film students told her that while the scenery and background was so different, the lifestyle and beliefs were very reminiscent to her of rural life in Thailand. Melinda took questions at the end and noted that persuading the conservative ranchers to switch to sustainable ranching generally required showing that the practices were in fact, original practices by ranchers a hundred years ago and so that by making the change they were actually reverting to traditional practices.

The longer film was an excellent documentary following 6 young magicians attending the World Seminar of Magic’s teen competition. The lives of the kids was played out and the skill of the filmmakers showed as the audience grew to care about how their lives turned out. I won’t spoil the ending since this really is a very good film that you should make an effort to find and watch.

Vice Consul Paul Neville (far left) is joined by the Cultural Attache to the U.S. Embassy Michael Honnold (center) and his family at the opening of the American Documentary Showcase on Saturday, November 12, 2011.

Directed by J. Clay Tweel and produced by Steven Klein, Make Believe won best feature documentary at the L.A. Film Awards this year. Steven Klein attended the screening at the CMU Art Museum theater and discussed the film with the audience afterward.

The quality of films on offer this past weekend was excellent and considering that next weekend’s film If a Tree Falls, winner of Documentary Editing Award 2011 at Sundance Film Festival, explores the notorious environmental group the Earth Liberation Front, those interested should make time in their busy schedules to come and watch. The films start at 7 p.m. on November 19 and 20.

Three Sisters; a contemporary Japanese interpretation.

The Three Sisters will be performed at the CMU Art Center this Saturday, November 5, 2011.

A long-awaited stage appearance from Japan’s internationally renowned contemporary dance theatre company Pappa Tarahumara will finally be realized at CMU Arts Center on 5 November 2011. The event is presented by Pappa Tarahumara in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Japan Foundation Bangkok and CNX Art Connex.

Directed and choreographed by the troupe’s Artistic Director Hiroshi Koike, Pappa Tarahumara will present Three Sisters, an adaptation from Anton Chekhov’s timeless literary classic. In the new context of the Japanese countryside in the 1960s, it’s seemingly sweet portrayal of three bored sisters grappling with womanhood spirals into a sensual and charged meditation on female identity, coming-of-age and the Japanese obsession with youth culture. This eccentric comic tragedy, narrated through a dynamic choreography, is a powerfully condensed alternative to the company’s larger-scale multi-disciplinary works.

Since its premiere in 2005, Three Sisters has been performed over 100 times in more than 30 countries, including at New York’s Joyce Theatre, Singapore’s Esplanade, Guangdong Modern Dance Festival, and has won rave reviews across the world.

Founded by director Hiroshi Koike in 1982, Pappa Tarahumara is distinctive and extraordinary from other theater companies for their original creative methods which the body, time, and space are blended to create real-time ephemeral performing arts. Without taking consideration of classifying their performance into any specific genres of theater arts, they rather combine contemporary dance, play, music and visual arts in their creative process, presenting a wholesome theater art. Therefore, the troupe has attracted many audiences worldwide and has attained an international recognition.

Three Sisters is at the CMU Art Center (on Nimmanhaemin Rd. on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 7 p.m. No entry will be allowed 10 minutes after the start of the show. Tickets are 500 and 300 baht. Reservation and more information please contact: CNX Art Connex. 084 173 7575 or 081 706 2305. [email protected] (PR)

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Two Master Artists

PTIS International School hosts Opera Under the Stars

Chiang Mai hosts the 11th International Dance Festival 2011

American Documentary showcases award winning films

Three Sisters; a contemporary Japanese interpretation.