Danish Folk Dancers To Stage Shows In Thailand

A group of Danish folk dancers – in all 30 dancers – will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and Jomtien from mid-November until mid-December this year to show traditional Danish folkdance to the general Thai public. The visit is part of the the Danish celebrations of His Majesty King Bhumbol Adulyadej’s 80 year birthday, by invitation of Thai Youth Community Foundation in Chiang Mai.
The dance troupe is planning to stage shows in well visited public places in all of these destinations. The main criteria is a space wide enough – ideally it should be 20 by 30 meters – where there will be many people passing by who could stop and watch the dancers. The dancers will break the show in two parts of each 25- 30 minutes. The instructors will also make a small workshop where they will teach members of the audience some of the basic steps in Danish folkdance.
The dancers will be accompanied by their own musicians playing violin, flute and accordion.
“We do not need a real stage and there is no need for any seating area,” Sven Ebbe Slej, the leader of the dance troupe says.
“We hope the people of Thailand will enjoy our music, dances and customs as much as we do,” he adds.
Folk dancing is a very special part of the Danish culture. About 200 years ago, Denmark was a country of agriculture, where the peasants had farms with cattle’s and fields. Servant girls and farm-hands were working at the farms. They didn’t have a lot of pleasure, so when they had the opportunity of having a party, they always played music and danced.
Almost 100 years ago some people started to collect information about the old music and the dances from the period of 1750 – 1850. To day the folk-dancers and the musicians are using these information’s, as well as their costumes are copies of the old clothes.
“Many of our dances are named after that part of the country where they have been danced or have funny names after everyday occurrences,” Sven Ebbe Slej explains. Examples are the dances “Trample mouse to death”, “Between the stove and the wall”, Cockcrow” etc.
The dancers dressed up nicely for the party. They copied the cloth from the rich and nobles too, but as they didn’t have much money, they made embroideries and weaved the cloth, so it looked as the expensive cloth. The clothes of the peasants were homemade of wool, linen and later on silk, which was brought home by the sailors. Each part of the country had their own and some times very different clothes.
The dancers coming to Thaland from mid-November till mid December will wear costumes that are copies of the clothes of the peasants and made after the same methods. It’s all made by hand, hand-knitted stockings, sleeves and caps. Like the fashion at the Court, the costumes were different, according to which period they have been made, so there will also be something to look at from a fashion design point of view.
Interested individuals or companies are welcome to contact Scandinavian Society Siam Chairman Gregers Moller – gregers@scandmedia.com – to inquire about possible involvement and special activities.

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