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The Magic Crown




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The giant curtain of the Thailand Cultural Center opened up, showing two mountains moving up toward the audiences, the white monkey Hanuman spells himself into giant monkey to grab the magic herb to cure Lakhsman (the brother of Rama) who was injured unconsciously by the magic spear: Mokkasak.

It was one of the great scenes of the Ramayana (Ramakian in Thai) which this year the Foundation under the patronage of HM. the Queen Sirikit has chosen to present in the episode “Mokkasak, the magic spear”, as its annual Khon mask performance.

My favorite scene was when Hanuman flied to stop the Sun (to bar the death of Lakhsman once touch by the first ray). Even though this Khon performance is rather conservative and restricted but the presentation applied many modern technology, dry ice, moving scenes, light and sound. I noticed some modified sound added before the original performance would start. No doubt, the white monkey could fly with the sling attached to its traditional costume, moving up and down rolling himself. The giant red Sun also flowed with a little pavilion shown the Sun God sitting inside while he had a conversation to Hanuman.

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My intention was not only to see the best costume of Khon in Thai history, but their performers are new generation talented recruited and selected from all the country. I noticed some of the main actors were interpreted the Khon dance in their very own styles but couldn’t feel a strange.

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This year I was granted a free seat by one of the performance whom I took his photo last year, he was interpreted as Lakhsman (the second most important role behind the Rama). I went to the first round of show, actually it was a last rehearsal and some called as a ‘family round’ since all the audiences were their families and friends.

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I met Nackky an hour before the show to get the seat number, we didn’t talked much when he had to dress up and I didn’t asked how many scenes he would be (one character could interpreted by some 4-5 actors depended on the scene and timing).

But when the Rama and Lakhsman came, I didn’t see Nackky.

Instead, he came as the Brahma God: the 4 faces progenitor or great grandsire of all human beings and the creator of World. In this episode, the Brahma was acted about 10 minutes to give the magic spear to the giant Kumphakan (brother of Ravana or Thotsakan in Thai) to battle with Rama.

Nackky came in a paradise pavilion wearing a special crown with three faces of Godes, the fourth face was his own.

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After the show he waited for a photo shot with his family, he cried on the first met to his parent.

He didn’t got the Lakhsman role because didn’t attend the audition. “I wanted to give a chance to others” he told me. But anyone would cry since this episode gives the main character to Lakhsman while compare to the scene he got some minutes in the 3 hours show.

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He is just a sophomore scholar in the Bunditpatanasilpa Fine Arts Institute but had practiced Khon since 10. He told that he cried for his parent who given support to his artist desire, against the stereotype of other families to guide their children to a lucrative study.

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The magic crown spells on him since then, the Brahma’s faces are of the kindness to human who guide their life and happiness.

“How about the next episode?” I asked.

“I will take the Lakhsman’s crown back and certainly won’t miss the audition” he replied.

I saw some 6 faces of Brahma that day.

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Rama

Rama

Giant Khumphakan

Giant Khumphakan

Very fine detailed dress by the Royal Foundation School

Very fine detailed dress by the Royal Foundation School

Hanuman's actors

Hanuman’s actors

Ravana or Totsakan

Ravana or Totsakan

Giant's Minister

Giant’s Minister

Nackky as Lakhsman last year

 

The Khon performance “the magic spear” showing 2-3 rounds a day until 9 December.

For detail and tickets: http://www.thaiticketmajor.com/performance/performance-detail.php?sid=1898&la=en

 

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