Please note: This event has been postponed to 19 November to 4 December 2016, in observance of the mourning period following the passing of His Majesty the King; the programme will also undergo some changes.
October 2016 rolls around and the International Dance Festival (IDF), organised by The Friends-of-the-Arts Foundation, performs their annual ritual for eager avid dance fans to gather again. Peering through the eyes of a passionate and artistic dancer, the Director Vararom Pachimswat unwittingly bounces her vibrancy and energy as if her pirouettes sends particles through the air and invisibly sprinkles tempo to all in her path.
Rhythmically swaying to and fro – catching the cadence of melody, touching all ages, whether “en pointe”, or a Cuatro flick of the Tango, the Dance Center makes even a stiff inflexible body agile within a hour or two, regaining the primal drive within us to express ourselves in dance.
From contemporary to classical dance and everything else in between, the selection brought to us combines all varieties; the Director’s choice defines a wide range of taste but how does this apply when on a global scale, where does the line start – alphabetically from the Argentine Tango to the Zumba, where in between does the Director makes her mark on what is on offer. The answer to this is when the choreographer incorporates their own culture into the piece, hence its uniqueness.
For a first timer into the world of dance, it would be quite difficult to choose which performances to watch, so leaning heavily on the Director’s favorite would deem to be the better choice. Vararom says, “It is difficult to name the star performance of IDF this yeas as each company have their own uniqueness, but my favorite would be the Companhia de Dança Contemporãnea de Évora (CDCE) Portuguese Dance Company.”
The International Dance Festival in its 16th year brings music and dance from around the world satisfying the inherent human need of dance, allowing the spread of happiness and injecting a variety of art form. Art, like language, is a medium to express ideas and is a method to communicate what we may not necessarily fully understand or know how to express. The creation of dance, is a collective activity that require a group of artists and an audience; thus bringing from around the world, a variety of cultural values and beliefs in a musical movement format. Through its years, IDF looks toward building the future for young Thai Choreographer so that they can in turn create and inspire others.
The festival starts off with a smash hit on 26 October, presenting The Artemis Dance Company, an all-stunning female dance company from Italy. Company members have a strong ballet background and they have performed numerous shows internationally.
Highlights for children and teens include Prolific Visionary Production (PVP), a talented youth dance company from Japan, featuring a contemporary performance dance in hip hop style. Established in 2013, PVP is an inventive youth company exploring the unexplored, challenging the realm of hip-hop theatre. In merging contemporary and street dance, PVP presents innovative creations through choreography and visual conceptual short films.
Also, Compagnie KHAM from France takes to the stage with a laptop and a microphone to handle sound environments, and a few projectors. The show plays on a scenic concept where three dancers take themselves dancing amid light and sound. Influenced by hip-hop, butoh, Indian dance, traditional dance and contemporary dance, the performance highlights a singular aesthetic, also forged by the individual and his intellectual and sentimental choices.
In addition, the Young Talent Stage will be of interest to families, encompassing excerpts from “The Nutcracker” and a variety of performances from hip-hop to Russian folk dances. This show stems from a collaboration between Dance Centre, School of Performing Arts and the Russian Embassy Ballet School.
Editor’s note: This article is by Tuptim Malakul Lane; it has been reprinted here with permission of the International Dance Festival (IDF) organisers.