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Dance  

Traditional northern dance, called 'fon', is impressive for its slow and graceful movements of the hands, arms and legs. The performance is usually accompanied by an ensemble of the 'kong' (gong), 'glong' (drum) and 'chap' (cymbals). It strongly resembles Burmese, Tibetan, and southern Chinese styles of music.

Typically, this northern dance would be performed during official ceremonies to welcome visiting dignitaries. 'Fon' dance is performed by large groups of colorfully costumed female dancers, each executing identical movements. During the day, the dancers wear long bronze or paper fingernails, while at night candles are used instead.

It wasn't until the nineteenth century that the northern dances were developed as dramatic forms. The Chiang Mai princess, Phra Ratchachaya Dararatsami, a consort of King Chulalongkorn, wrote a dramatic plot for a dance-drama in the northern style after seeing stage plays in Bangkok. Since then, many northern-style dances have been adapted for the stage.

Find further information on regional dance.





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