Bangkok’s 19th International Festival of Dance and Music is back! For the 19th consecutive year, the festival runs from 11 September to 19 October 2017. This incredibly popular event is hosted annually by a committed team of art enthusiasts, bringing some of the finest dance and music displays from around the world to audiences in Bangkok.
It looks like it’s going to be another spectacular event this year, with tickets selling quickly so make sure you are able to get your seats booked early. Some of these are not to be missed! The matinees are great for younger children to experience some fantastic theatrical arts, and the evening performances offer the exciting experience for older children of a night at the theatre.
Highlights for families include:
West Side Story, USA
The Original Broadway Classic
Thursday & Friday, 5 & 6 October @7.30 pm; Saturday, 7 October @2.30pm; and 7.30 pm, Sunday, 8 October @2.30pm and 7.30 pm
Provocative finger snapping of street gangs, Puerto Rican girls’ whirling skirts, derelict West Side back yards and just a few notes of Leonard Bernstein’s world-famous score, featuring songs such as Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty, evoke these images of West Side Story. The genius of its four creators – Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim – produced a piece whose great artistic quality remains unquestioned. The film version won ten Oscars and brought the masterwork to an audience of millions just a few years later. Today West Side Story stands unchallenged as the No. 1 of American musical theatre.
Cinderella, a classical ballet in three acts, Russia
Ekaterinburg Ballet & Opera Theatre
Wednesday, 13 September @7.30 pm
Everyone’s favourite childhood fairy tale, Cinderella, is brought to the stage in a spectacular production with dazzling costumes, sets and stage design by the award-winning Vyacheslav Okunev from St. Petersburg, an honoured People’s Artist of Russia. Set to the music of Sergei Prokofiev this full-scale production by Vladimir Vasiliev, former principal dancer of the Bolshoi Theatre Ballet is one of the most magical stagings of the ballet ever. Bringing it to Bangkok is the incomparable Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre, the keeper of Russia’s classical ballet traditions. On 19 April 2017, Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre was awarded the Golden Mask in Moscow, recognising the company as the best ballet company in Russia.
Flying Superkids, Denmark
Tuesday, 19 September @7.30 pm and Wednesday, 20 September @7.30 pm
Singers, dancers, award-winning acrobats and gymnasts combine their talent for a high-voltage performance that is perfectly choreographed. This action-packed show has engaged audiences all over the world. Flying Superkids was founded by Uwe Godbersen in 1967, who travelled around the world as a gymnast on the National Danish Gym Team. It started with 20 girls, but soon grew to 400 members. Uwe Godbersen’s concept was simple: gymnastics should not be too traditional and went about mixing in funny ideas, costumes, untraditional music and lighting. Within a few years the best of the children started to perform all over Denmark. The international breakthrough came in 1975, when the children performed live on German television. Soon invitations came in from all over Europe and, in 1982, the Superkids went on their first coast to coast tour of the USA.
Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, People’s Republic of China
Sunday, 24 September @2.30 pm
Overture to Candide – Leonard Bernstein
The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto – He Zhanhao, Chen Gang
Symphony No. 9 in E minor (‘From the New World’) – Antonin Dvorak
The Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is a highly regarded symphony orchestra that developed from Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra. It is one of the top five orchestras in China, among over a hundred orchestras. SPO has collaborated with renowned musicians like Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Yo-yo Ma, Támás Vásáry and Boris Berman, among others.
Peter Marvey’s Magic Show, Switzerland
WOW! World of Wonders
Thursday, 28 September @7.30 pm and 29 September @7.30 pm
A brand-new production by the famous illusionist Peter Marvey that has never been seen before! Today, Peter Marvey’s name is taken in the same breath as legends like David Copperfield or Siegfried & Roy. Regarded as the best and most creative large-scale illusionist of the present, and the man of the future, Marvey only uses illusions he has created himself.
Beauty and The Beast, a contemporary ballet, France
Malandain Ballet Biarritz
Monday, 2 October @7.30 pm
Malandain Ballet Biarritz, founded in 1998, has under the direction of Thierry Malandain become well-established both nationally and internationally. Regarded as one of the most important companies on the French choreographic landscape, it has forged a solid reputation for itself. Malandin’s Beauty And The Beast is a coming-of-age story designed to resolve the duality of being, with Belle embodying the human soul and the Beast being its life force and instincts. The focus is on the portrayal of the artist’s inner demons through the Beast’s duality. Accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s symphonic works, Malandain Ballet Biarritz’s version of the Beast, freed from his inner demons, marries Belle under a blazing sun.
All performances are held at the Main Hall of the Thailand Cultural Centre. Tickets can be purchased through Thai Ticket Major; prices range from 1,000 to 5,000 baht.
Image Credit: Flying Superkids