A few days later, we went to a dinner with our arts supervisor that featured traditional Thai dancing. This type of dancing is something that I have always wanted to see, and it was just thrilling! Elizabeth was mesmerized and sat through the entire 2-hour performance without once wanting to get up and run around (shocking!). I wanted to share a few pictures of some of the amazing things that we saw.
Right outside there were these elephant statues, and Elizabeth is VERY into animals right now, so we had her stand in front of it and told her to smile for the camera. We actually got a few cute pictures (usually when we ask her to smile we get more of a grimace)!
And this picture is just so cute I had to include it :).
The dancing was at the very beautiful cultural center.
And outside there were women sitting and carving different fruits into very ornate patterns. It really was too pretty to eat!
Okay, now to get to the dancing. Thai dance is very much about the hand movements and positions of the fingers (arched back really far). I don’t understand it all, but there are specific movements that have specific meanings, and that’s how they tell stories through their actions while they dance. Here are some of the best pictures (sorry if they are a little blurry – the dancers wouldn’t stay still for me to take their picture!).
Here’s a better picture of the fingers. The girls start dancing this way very young, and work from when they’re little to be able to bend their fingers back like this.
The men did this very fast, very loud dance with drums. I know the picture is blurry, but that’s kind of what it looked like in real life too!
The hero and heroine of a traditional story.
Elizabeth was also mesmerized by her jasmine necklace. They smelled really really good! In fact, all of Thailand smelled really good from all the beautiful flowers there.
This guy was amazing. He took all these knives, demonstrated how sharp they were, and then proceeded to place and balance them on different parts of his body and move around. He even had a knife between his toes!
Someday I would love to learn how to do this type of dance, or at least understand it better (but I think I’ll skip the knife dance). It was so beautiful and so unique to Thai culture. We were so thankful for the opportunity to see it!