Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thai opera: Dasjati

The Bangkok Post has an interesting article on the new Thai opera Dasjati by S.P. Somtow. An epic 10-opera cycle, Dasjati or Tossachat - Ten Lives Of The Buddha is nothing if not ambitious. There are some interesting things to note about how the production is working, but what struck me most were the following remarks:
Dasjati in a sense goes beyond Wagner's synthesis of theatre, music and poetry because it adds a fourth element to the mix, that of dance. Choreographer Puwarade Wongatichat adds colours of Thai dance, contemporary dance and ballet.
This of course makes me quite curious to pose the question to our Lao choreographers and artists what might we do to respond to the integration of dance with theatre, music, and poetry, and what other art forms might well be essential to such works. Among the Lao American artists i would think particularly poised to take on the question are Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay, the Kinnaly Dance Troupe, the Royal Lao Classical Dancers of Tennessee, the Natassin Dance Troop of Iowa, and Phayvanh Leukhamhan given their prior work. But we'll see in the years ahead where it all takes us!

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