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Traditional Vietnamese dance

Traditional Vietnamese dance includes several diIIerent Iorms. These include: dance as
perIormed in Vietnamese theatre and opera, dances perIormed at Iestivals, and royal dances oI
the imperial court. Dance is thought to have been an integral part oI Vietnamese culture since
ancient times, as depicted by engravings Iound on Dong Son drums.
Vietnam is a diverse country with 54 diIIerent ethnic groups, with the ethnic Vietnamese (known
as Kinh) making up the majority oI the population. This article mainly Iocuses on the traditional
dances oI the ethnic Vietnamese, although each oI the many ethnic minorities oI Vietnam have
their own rich culture and dance styles.
Dancing in Vietnamese tbeatre
uch oI Vietnamese theatre and Vietnamese music are intertwined with each other, as well as
with Vietnamese dance. Popular theatre Iorms such as Hat tung, Hat cheo, and Cai luong all
oIten Ieature dance, however these dances are perIormed in a liberal manner without set rules,
unlike other more speciIic dance styles
Imperial court dances
Accompanied with Nh nhac (court music oI the Trn Dynasty to the Nguyn Dynasty) were the
intricate dances oI the Vietnamese Imperial court. While assuredly court dances existed beIore
nh nhac in particular emerged, it is the Nguyn Dynasty Iorm that is still highly preserved
today, and has been declared along with the whole oI nh nhac as an Intangible cultural heritage.
These dances require great skill and the dancers are oIten dressed in extravagant costumes.
Currently, they are perIormed at Iestivals in Hu or other special (oIten televised) occasions, in
order to promote the traditional arts. Some oI the most popular dances include (among others):
O lan dance
O anLern dance
O Lus dance
O llag dance
O 9laLLer dance
O andle dance
O ncense dance
O aL dance
O carf dance

ance in Thailand
Dance |n 1ha||and (1hal GF kom tbol% ls Lhe maln dramaLlc arL frm f 1halland 1hal dance llke
many frms f LradlLlnal Aslan dance can be dlvlded lnL Lw ma[r caLegrles LhaL crrespnd
rughly L Lhe hlgh arL (classlcal dance% and lw arL (flk dance% dlsLlncLln
Although the traditional perIorming arts are not as vibrant as they once were, suIIering inroads
by western entertainments and generally changing tastes, Thai dance drama is not extinct. What
survives displays the elegance oI an art Iorm reIined over centuries and supported by regal
The Thais reputedly Iirst acquired a dance troupe when, in AD 1431, they conquered the ancient
Khmer capital oI Angkor and took as part oI their spoils an entire corps de ballet. Dancers whose
perIormances had once been seen as a symbolic link between nature, earth and the realm oI the
Aside Irom Iolk and regional dances (southern Thailand's Indian-inIluenced manohra dance, Ior
example), the two major Iorms oI Thai classical dance drama are khon and lakon nai. In the
beginning both were exclusively court entertainments and it was not until much later that a
popular style oI dance theater, Likay, evolved as a diversion Ior the common Iolk who had no
access to royal perIormances.
Regional dances

O |Nuan ls a Lyplcal dance f enLral 1halland Ls greaL ppularlLy ls due L Lhe beauLlful
chregraphy and Lhe sweeLness f Lhe muslc LhaL accmpanles lL 1he lyrlcs and muslc evke
Lhe sweeL naLure f 1hal glrls 1he dance ls als an expressln f Lhe yearnlng f a yung man
wn by such greaL charm
O 1eut1eung (Dum Dance) 1he LeuLLeung drum a Lyplcal lnsLrumenL used ln 1hal flk muslc ls
played LhrughuL Lhe cunLry L accmpany Lhe parades held aL LradlLlnal fesLlvals L ls sald
LhaL Lhe mdern sLyle f Lhe 1euL1eung dance was creaLed by sme muslc Leachers
O ame Dance (k|ce Ge Dance) 1hls ls a mdern dance creaLed by Lhe 1hal MlnlsLry f
ulLure 1he dancers wear Lhe rlce grwers LradlLlnal csLume and Lhe dance lLself enacLs Lhe
dally acLlvlLles f Lhese wrkers wh are Lhe backbne f Lhe naLln 1he balleL pens wlLh Lhe
farmers as Lhey cme L plugh and sw Lhe flelds When Lhey are sure LhaL Lhe rlce ls grwlng
well Lhey gaLher LgeLher L pray L Mae 9 p Lhe gddess wh prLecLs rlcegrwlng asLly
Lhe harvesL ls celebraLed wlLh sngs and danclng
O mbat |th ht and Lng t|ck and |th d 1hese dances are lnsplred by Lypes f
cmbaL LhaL are Lyplcal f 1halland ln whlch elLher sLlcks r swrds are used 1he skllful use f
Lhe shrL sLlck depends n Lhe aglllLy f Lhe flghLer wh musL aLLack and always remaln clse L
hls ppnenL whlle Lhe cmbaLanL wh Lakes up Lhe lng sLlck musL malnLaln a cerLaln dlsLance
frm hls rlval L use hls weapn effecLlvely 1he arL f swrd flghLlng has been pracLlced ln
1halland slnce Lhe beglnnlng f Llme and LradlLlnally a ceremnlal dance ls perfrmed prlr
L cmbaL
O eng kat|p kha 1hls dance ls perfrmed durlng LradlLlnal celebraLlns usually Lhe wrd
serng ls added L Lhe name f Lhe dmesLlc b[ecL used n sLage by Lhe dancers n Lhe case f
Lhe erng kraLlp Lhe dancers carry Lhe Lyplcal rlce baskeLs knwn as kraLlp 1helr mvemenLs
lmlLaLe Lhse f Lhe wmen wh brlng fd L Lhe men wrklng ln Lhe flelds 1he chregraphy
ls accmpanled by muslc wlLh a llvely rhyLhm 1he lnsLrumenLs used are a lng drum charb
(cymbals% grab (a klnd f casLaneL% mng (gng% and Lhe kahen (llke an ldfashlned syrlnge%
O eng Ian 1hls flk dance ls generally perfrmed aL LradlLlnal fesLlvals 1he chregraphy ls
enLrusLed L Lhe dancers wh wear brlghLly clred csLumes and expresses all Lhe [y f Lhe
O n hu 1ha| 1hls dance ls parL f a prplLlaLry ceremny perfrmed by Lhe 9hu 1hal Lrlbe
wh llve ln Lhe nrLheasL f Lhe cunLry 1he muslc LhaL accmpanles lL ls played n Lyplcal
lnsLrumenLs llke Lhe gng chlng (a Lrlbal drum% alng wlLh Lher drums and plpes 1he gng
chlng plays a fundamenLal parL because lL seLs Lhe rhyLhm fr Lhe dance
O eng kap (cnut Dance) krap ls Lhe wrd fr ccnuL ln Lhe nrLheasL dlalecL 1he dance
lllusLraLes Lhe acLlvlLles f a grup f nublle glrls frm Lhe suLhern parL f Lhe regln knwn as
an 1he dancers hld Lw ccnuL shells wlLh whlch Lhey execuLe cmplex chregraphlc
mvemenLs shaklng Lhem Lsslng Lhem r Lapplng Lhem llghLly 1hls dance ls fLen
accmpanled by Lhe sund f Lhe png lang a klnd f uprlghL xylphne made f sLrlps f
wd arranged accrdlng L Lhe muslcal scale
O Ian 8antheng (1he napp|ne Ian) 1hls ls a serles f flk dances usually perfrmed n
fesLlve ccaslns 1he swlfL harmnlus mvemenLs are accmpanled by flk sngs assclaLed
wlLh Lhe nrLheasL regln
O n a Ma| (||k Weav|ng Dance) ln ls a Lype f dance ln nrLhern and nrLheasLern 1halland
L ls perfrmed ln grups and has very slw graceful and almsL medlLaLlve mvemenLs ln
a Mal deplcLs a LradlLlnal prfessln f nrLhern 1hal wmen ln sllk weavlng 1he dance
lmlLaLes dlfferenL prcesses f sllkweavlng lr generaLlns sllk prducLln ls ne f Lhe Lp
hme lndusLrles ln nrLhern and nrLheasLern 1halland and Lhe nelghbrlng cunLry as
O Dance the Nanthae| and uha Dum 1he nanLhaperl ls a drum characLerlsLlc f Lhe
nrLhern regln f 1halland whlch ls used fr Lw purpses L spur n warrlrs prlr L baLLle
and L pay hmage L Lhe 8uddha ln rellglus ceremnles 1he puche n Lhe Lher hand ls a
Lype f drum used by Lhe Lrlbes LhaL llve ln Lhe nrLh Lhe 1ay ?al Lhe 1al ue and Lhe 1ay yan L
ls used L accmpany varlus dances lncludlng Lhe swrd dance and Lhe kal lal and klng ka lal
O d Dance 1hls dance ls lnsplred by an anclenL marLlal arL LhaL requlres Lremendus curage
and sLrengLh and excellenL reflexes 1he dancers balance a number f swrds n dlfferenL parLs
f Lhelr bdles whlle flghLlng ff Lhelr rlval wlLh a swrd sheaLh
O kaLa| Dance 8eglnners learn L execuLe graceful and balanced mvemenLs Lhrugh Lhe
chregraphy f Lhls dance
O k|ngkaLa Dance 1he hand mvemenLs and sLeps f Lhe female dancers wh wear specLacular
fanshaped csLumes evke Lhe mvemenLs f a blrd
O 1he und the Munta|n 1he muslc LhaL accmpanles Lhls dance ls played n wlnd
lnsLrumenLs characLerlsLlc f Lhree Lrlbes ln Lhe nrLh f 1halland Lhe pl hm (a gurd plpe% f
Lhe 1al ue Lhe pl [m f Lhe 1ay ?uan and Lhe kan nam La (a gurd fluLe% f Lhe l aw
O and|e Dance 1yplcal f Lhe 1hal kheun Lrlbe Lhls dance ls perfrmed ln hnr f Lhe 8uddha
1he female dancers pay hmage L Lhe dlvlnlLles LhaL prLecL Lhe elghL cardlnal plnLs f Lhe
LarLh asklng Lhem L pass Lhrugh Lhe candlellghL ln hmage L Lhe 8uddha
O khan Dk Dance 1he sLrlklng chregraphy f Lhls dance f blesslng expresses Lhe calm serene
LemperamenL f Lhe nrLhern peples
O heng 1ua Aukn Dance 1hls dance perfrmed ln Lhe 8uddhas hnr ls characLerlzed by a
cmplex chregraphy lnsplred by Lhe calllgraphy f Lhe anclenL alphabeLs f Lhe nrLhern
reglns and by Lhe mvemenLs used ln marLlal arLs
O 1he und Lanna the Anc|ent k|ngdm the Nth 1hls muslc ls played n Lw
lnsLrumenLs Lyplcal f Lhls regln 1he phlnphla ls a sLrlnged lnsLrumenL whse bdy ls made
frm a ccnuL shell When he plays lL Lhe muslclan resLs Lhe shell n hls bare chesL Lhen
mves lL r presses lL L achleve Lhe deslred LnallLy n Lhe pasL Lhe phlnphla was Lhe
lnsLrumenL used by yuLhs L curL Lhe maldens f Lhelr vlllage lew muslclans sLlll play lL 1he
sueng ls a sLrlnged lnsLrumenL made f Leak r hard wd L ls played by plucklng Lhe Lw
meLal r brass sLrlngs wlLh a hrn plecLrum
O 1he Na 1he nra ls a LradlLlnal dance f uLhern 1halland (ln uLh 1hal language called Lhe
haLrl% whse rlglns lle ln varlus legends f whlch Lhere are dlfferenL verslns 1he
chregraphy f Lhe nra dance varles frm regln L regln buL ls generally cmpsed f 12
pslLlns and 17 mvemenLs
O Na 1ua Cn 1hls very reflned versln f Lhe nra requlres greaL lnLerpreLlve skllls and
experlence 1 learn Lhls nra lL musL be sLudled frm a very yung age s LhaL Lhe bdy can
achleve Lhe flexlblllLy necessary L execuLe Lhe cmpllcaLed mvemenLs 1he female dancers ln
facL fllw a demandlng exerclse reglme and a sLrlcL dlsclpllne
O kam taeng kae 1hls ls anLher elabraLe nra dance LhaL requlres greaL lnLerpreLaLlve glfLs Cn
Lhe sLage Lhe prLagnlsL launches a harpn aL Lhe crcdlle whse back llL by candles ls
made frm Lhe Lrunk f a banyan Lree 1he female dancer mves rund Lhe wrlLhlng crcdlle
plsed L plerce lLs head aL Lhe rlghL mmenL
O kam Na n kam 1hls ls a baslc psLure whlch ls execuLed by cncenLraLlng n hand arm and
shulder mvemenLs and n Lhe equlllbrlum and mvemenL f varlus parLs f Lhe bdy and ls
accmpanled by raLher lng lyrlcs
O kam k|en a| |eb Luk Mana kam k et 1hls advanced level f Lhe nra dance ls
usually perfrmed durlng a cmpeLlLln beLween Lw grups f dancers 1 lnLlmldaLe Lhe rlval
grup a male dancer sLrlkes an efflgy n Lhe versln knwn as ?leb uk Mana Lhe female
prLagnlsL sLamps n Lhree lemns symbllzlng Lhe hearLs f Lhe rlvals 1he dance ls perfrmed
as a slgn f vlcLry n Lhe nexL dance Lhe female prLagnlsL asks Lhe pran Lhe cmlcal hunLer
L glve her a headdress as a symbl f her vlcLry 1hls ls a ceremnlal rlLual carrled uL L
dlshnr rlvals and L encurage Lhe members f Lhe grup and ls characLerlzed by a cerLaln
sacredness as can be seen frm Lhe sLyle f Lhe dance
O kam Na 8t atm 1hls chregraphy uses anLher baslc psLure ln whlch hand arm and
shulder mvemenLs are synchrnlzed wlLh Lhse f Lhe head
O kam Cak an n Lhe cmpany LhaL perfrms a nra Lhe pran r hunLer plays Lhe parL f Lhe
fl e usually wears a hunLers mask r headdress ls mvemenLs are fLen amuslng and
deslgned L make Lhe audlence laugh Lach pslLln ls ln harmny wlLh Lhe dynamlc rhyLhm f
Lhe muslc
O kam Na k|ng nng 1hls advanced level f nra ls perfrmed nly n lmprLanL ccaslns
1he female prLagnlsL plays Lhe rle f ng r klnnaree a legendary creaLure wh ls half
wman and half blrd Accrdlng L a celebraLed nra Leacher Lhls eplsde ls parLly based n Lhe
legend f 9rasuLnManra 1he seven klnnaree are playlng ln Lhe lake ln Lhe mlddle f a wd
Lruck by Lhelr beauLy and llghLhearLedness 9ran 8n Lhe hunLer chases Lhe maldens ln an
aLLempL L caLch Lhe yungesL 1he llvely harmnlus mvemenLs perfecLly evke 9ran 8ns
pursulL f Lhe klnnaree as she Lrles L escape
O kam Na 1am 8t kam Cak an n Lhls dance Lhe hand mvemenLs evke Lhe beauLlful
scenery f ngkhla 9rvlnce ln uLh 1halland 1he verses f Lhe sng are accmpanled by a
very llvely rhyLhm

lassical dance drama

khn perfrmance ln 2007 ln Cermany
Thai classical dance drama include Khon, Lakhon, and Fawn Thai.
Maln arLlcle khn
O boo uance ls Lhe msL sLyllsed frm f 1hal dance L ls perfrmed by Lrupes f nnspeaklng
dancers Lhe sLry belng Lld by a chrus aL Lhe slde f Lhe sLage hregraphy fllws
LradlLlnal mdels raLher Lhan aLLempLlng L lnnvaLe
ost 43 perIormances Ieature episodes Irom the Ramakien. Costumes are dictated by
tradition, with angels (both good and bad) wearing coloured masks.
Maln arLlcles akhn nal akhn chaLrl and akhn nk
O okboo feaLures a wlder range f sLrles Lhan kboo lncludlng flk Lales and !aLaka sLrles
uancers are usually female and perfrm as a grup raLher Lhan represenLlng lndlvldual
awn Tbai
O owo ls anLher frm f flkdance accmpanled by flk muslc f Lhe regln 1he flrsL lawn
rlglnaLed frm Lhe nrLhern regln f 1halland lL was deslgned and LaughL by ha uararasaml
f hlang Mal lnce Lhen a varleLy f lawn came lnL pracLlce accrdlng L Lhe muslc and
sLyle f each prvlnce such as Lhe lawnep (GI% flngernall dance frm hlang Mal
lawnnglew frm hlang 8al wlLh Lhe lnfluence f 8urmese muslc and csLume
olk dance
Folk dance Iorms include dance theatre Iorms like Likay, numerous regional dances (Ram), the
ritual dance Ram uay, and homage to the teacher, Wai Khru. Both Ram uay and Wai Khru
take place beIore all traditional uay Thai matches. The Wai is also an annual ceremony
perIormed by Thai classical dance groups to honor their artistic ancestors.
Ram muay
Ram Muay (GG) is the ritualized dance that takes place beIore Southeast Asian kickboxing
matches such as uay Thai.
ai kbru
ai K7u (GG ) is a ritualized Iorm oI dance meant to pay respect to, or homage to the 7u or
teacher. It is perIormed annually by Thai classical dance institutions as well as beIore uay Thai
Regional dance styles
ther regional Iolk dance styles in Thailand include Pleng Cha-Pleng Reo; ae Bot Lek; Rabam
Chiangsaen; Tawai praporn; Rabam Tawarawadee; Baisri sukwan; anora Buchayan; Uayporn
onwan; Chuichai Bhram; Chuichai Benyakai; Sinuan Worachet; Chuichai Wantong; Sinuan
Arnu; Rabam Loburi; Klidda Phinihan; Rabam Srichaisinghn; Rabam Sriwichai; Keb Baicha;
Rabam Sukhothai; Rabam Dowwadueng; Nora Dance; Bugna Lampai; Choom-num Pao Thai;
Kinnaree Ron; Sad Chatri; Soeng Praewa; Krailassamrerng; Ten Kam Ram Keow; Soeng
Sawing and Ramwong.