Thai veteran artist gets big honour at Images of Asia

Denmark this year strengthen its cultural ties with Asia through a major festival of art and culture Images of Asia, which will takes place from August 8 to September 26 in Copenhagen and a number of other Danish cities.
     When invited by the organizer of the event, veteran artist Patravadi Mejudhon, the founder of Thailand’s prominent Patravadi Theatre was happy to take part in the event by sending “Soi Wat Rakang” performance to represent Thailand.
     But as she learned afterwards, her part is bigger than that – her image is featured in the main poster for the event and she will, as a representative of Asian artists, give a speech at the opening of the event on August 9, which will be presided over by HRH Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
     “Being invited to stage a show made us very happy,” said the drama guru, “but my image being chosen for the event’s poster was a big surprise. And to give a speech is an honour for me.”
     The picture that appears in the poster is from a play in which she performed the part of a 16-year-old girl.
     “The organizer told me my portrait was chosen as I have worked in theatre my whole life.”
     In part of the show “Soi Wat Rakang”, Patravadi Theatre will keep the troupe small with nine artists who will take turns doing different things from dancing and performing music.
     “But the core of Thai classical dance will be all there,” said Manop Meechamras, the creator of the dance performance.
     “Soi Wat Rakang” is a three-set performance. The first set shows a simplified version of the training of youngsters in Thai classical dance, including the dressing procedures and the ‘wai khru’ (paying respect to teachers) ceremony. The second set is a music and dance piece using kitchenware like coconut shells and stainless steel pots. In the third section, the famous Thai masked dance ‘khon’ will be performed.
     Under the Arts Education section of the festival, a number of other Thai people, including some well-known individuals from different professions, will also take part in the “Black Box Exercise”.
     The black box is a polished black wooden cube measuring 12 square centimeters, with an opening on one side. The idea is to encourage people to use the basic form to create something new. This year about 200 black boxes were sent out to children, students, parents and artists in Denmark and different Asian countries. These people are invited to curate a mini-exhibit inside a box on the theme “Sars in Asia”. The 200 black boxes will be featured at the festival.
     Thailand was given six of the black boxes. They were distributed to Mae Shi (nun) Sansanee Sthirasuta, artist Amnach Klanpracha, singer-cum-artist G-One, physiologist Acharn Nathithip Krisanamara, writer Prabda Yoon and students of the Patai Udomsuksa School.
     Image of Asia is a biannual programme under the royal patronage of HRH Princess Alexandra. It gives space for Asian artists to showcase their works in five categories: visual arts, performing arts, media, dialogue and arts education. The festival this year is expected to draw some two million visitors from all over the world.
     The project is organized by Danish Center for Culture and Development (DCCD). More information about this cultural collaboration is available on .

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