Thousands of artists to perform at late King Bhumibol’s royal cremation

File photo of a Khon performance. Photo: Simon Htoo Thant/ Facebook

Amidst the mourning the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, thousands of Thai artists will showcase Thai traditional performances at the royal cremation on Oct. 26.

The Minister of Culture, Veera Rojpojanarat, revealed that “all characters, casts and details” are now complete, and the artists are beginning to rehearse for the best and the grandest performances of their lives.

Oct. 26 marks the date of the royal cremation at Sanam Luang, and to the north of the ceremonial ground, from 6pm until 6am the following day. Three stages will be set for performances organized by the Fine Arts Department.

Performances on the first stage will feature a shadow puppet show, alongside a Khon performance of the Ramayana, the famous Hindu epic. All of this is proudly presented by the Office of Performing Arts, and the Bunditphatthanasilpa Institute, as well as the students and teachers from twelve colleges that specialize in Dramatic Arts.

According to The Nation, various chapters from the Ramayana will be selected for the Khon performances by a foundation under royal patronage: the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques Foundation.

The second stage will be a display of royal puppet shows, featuring chapters from Thai epics, including Phra Mahachanok, the Ramayana, and Phra Apaimanee. Beautiful traditional dances will also be performed, such as Inao, the classic court play which narrates the story of Indonesia’s Prince Panji. Another one, Manora, is a story of a supernatural kinnari — a mythical half-bird and half-human creature.

The third stage will hold a classical music concert, called “Tha Keu Duangjai Thai Tua La,” which translates as “His Majesty remains in the hearts of all Thais.” The concert will not only include songs composed by the late king himself, but also songs that others have written to honor him.

Additionally, another Khon performance from the Ramayana (where “Phra Ram” travels across the ocean) will be held in front of the Songtham Pavilion as a tribute to the late king.

 

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