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Classical Thai Dance, Rhamakayian and Today's Audience Introduction The National Epic of Thailand: Rhamakayian has been transformed from the original Ramayana several times over centuries as monarchies changed with history. Borders brought new cultures and changes to old cultures…
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Download file to see previous pages . . Before the constitutional monarchy in 1931 (Kiriwat 2001), all theatre Khon, or masked dance drama was for palace performances only. Khon is still part of an elite group of the Thai National Theatre. Their performances are only related to the Rhamakayian. Lakon Nai also dealing with the Rhamakayian, was intended to be danced only by women who can do the complicated hand and finger movement. They are both very much part of the Thai culture. This is a study to present a short history of the origins of Rhamakayian and its importance in Thai Culture. The study will show how the royal family changed Rhamakayian from the original Ramayana developing two distinct dance styles which began centuries ago. King Rama I and King Rama II standardized the dance forms . This classical dance of today still has ancient origins. It style is old fashioned and no longer appeals to modern audience. It will be shown why the perception of the audience is no longer met. An audience is determined by the type of performance . Their needs and expectations will be shown in order to how what companies can do today, to bring the universal aspect of Rhamakayian back to the dance and drama without losing this beautiful Thai Epic. To conclude, the study will have shown that the use of an ancient subject is universal and its dance and drama can be brought up to the expectations of today's audience. The Origins of Ramakien from the original Ramayana Ramayana is a "timeless tale", which originated in ancient India. India was considered the centre of the world. The epic consists of 18 books covering every significant and insignificant aspect of human nature and character. The epic, though adapted to each individual country's culture and standards, has traversed all of Asia. It is so ingrained in the culture of the Asian world that it is compulsory in University and some lower education. In Indonesia, students are quoted as saying "Islam is our Religion but Ramayan is our Culture". (Kumar 2007) The Way of the Ram as Ram was a God who left his children , Lav and Kush to travel the world. This epic is universal to all as it covers the nine sentiments known to man. Each and every situation in a person's life is covered in the epic. So that the reader might get an excellent feel of the importance of Ramayana on the development of Rakayian. Expressing feeling are used in movement as they show the power of the sentiments in dramatic art. As it will be explained in the psychology of the audience are the Rasas expressed to the people in the hall? Love: between Sita and Rama Valor : Shiva's bow was broken when it was being restrung Pathos: Kakasura's feelings when he surrendered Suprise: the bridge over the ocean Humour: Shoorpanakha going to Rama Terror and Disgust: battlefield Fury: Killing Ravana Peace: Interaction with the sages. All of Asia was influenced by the story. "Ramanama is for the pure in heart and for those who want to attain purity and remain pure.' Mahatma Gandi". (Kumar 2007,page 4) The progression from Ramahaya to Ramakian was done in stages. The first Ramakian version came to Siam in the 14th century. In the 18th century there was a great fire which destroyed all existing written versions of the epic. The most modern version comes from King Rama I who in the 18th century saw the importance of cataloguing and sequencing the whole epic. He added his own writing where he had to complete the storyline. In Thailand, Ramakien changes in context but the story stays the same; the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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