February 7, 2005

Thai dance company reveals
rare masked performance

California State University, Sacramento will present a rare dance event at 3 p.m., on Sun., Feb. 20 in the Music Recital Hall in Capistrano Hall. Thailand's renowned National Theater Company will perform the country's classical dance-drama "Khon."

Photo of: Thai Dancers
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"Khon" involves masked dancers, live music and a narrator who recites poetry to guide the dancers' movements. Performing a complicated choreography of acrobatic elegance, Khon dancers wear distinctive costumes and masks, which serve to identify four characters-hero, heroine, demon and monkey warrior.

The company is comprised of 13 performers who serve the Royal Thai Government's Ministry of Education, based at the National Theatre of Thailand's Department of Fine Arts. Each dancer has been trained form an early age in classical Thai dance and music, making the company Thailand's leading performing arts troupe.

Photo of: Thai Dancers
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The performance is put on in conjunction with the San Francisco Asian Art Museum's groundbreaking exhibition "The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand, 1350-1800." A century ago, the dance was reserved for entertainment, ceremonies and rituals in Siam's royal court. As the country underwent a process of modernization, the court performers became official teachers of classical dance and music through the Department of Fine Arts in order to preserve the country's heritage in music and dance.

For more information contact professor Jim Chopyak at (916) 278-7493 or jchopyak@csus.edu.

For media assistance, contact public affairs at (916) 278-6156.

High-resolution images associated with this event are available for download at www.csus.edu/news/imagedownload.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
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