Creating a Contemporary Dance Based on Traditional Techniques and Spirituality – Fusing Elements from Lanna (Thailand), Indonesia and Japan
Keywords:Contemporary Dance, Lanna, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, Fusion, Traditional, Spirituality
The challenge of traditional dance to survive in a globalized world depends on the efforts of individual artists, groups and organizations based in local institutions, villages, and local festivals, and on popular entertainers..From a background as a Lanna (Northern Thailand) dancer, I studied how traditional dance is being transmitted and modernized in Japan and Indonesia. I introduce four artists from Japan and Indonesia with backgrounds in traditional dance who are trying to make their traditions contemporarily relevant. I describe some of the many forms that dance is taking in locations such as Mangkunegaran Palace in Surakarta, Indonesia and in so-called “Downtown Kabuki” in Osaka, Japan. Finally, I discuss my collaborations with artists in Japan and Indonesia in which we attempted to compare, contrast, or fuse our traditions. The long term aim of this work is to try to identify ways for traditional art forms to survive in an era of globalization.
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