News, Tips & Bargains : Ancient Dance Takes New Turn

The old and new have come together in Bangkok, where a new show combines the ancient classical dance of Thailand with contemporary production methods and English translations.

"Khon--Royal Masked Dance Spectacular" is being presented at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Chalermkrung Royal Theater in downtown Bangkok. Reservations for the two-hour program can be made by any hotel or tour operator. Tickets start at about $20.

The Khon often takes its story line from the Indian Ramayana, which is derived from Hindu legend. In its entirety, the Khon--a stunning spectacle of warriors, demons and monkeys who perform highly stylized movements while wrapped in brilliant costumes--requires 720 hours and more than 300 actors.

The ongoing performances at the Chalermkrung Royal Theater focus on eight scenes from the Khon and feature about 170 dancers from the Bangkok College of Drama. English translations are provided in printed programs and on above-stage screens.

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