July 9, 2011

Museum   ChinnorosShow

Here’s a recap of the last week’s highlights leading up to the performance. We had a “museum day” visiting the Museum of Siam – a contemporary “learn & play” exhibit on Thai identities dating back from pre-historic times through the present. The scavenger hunt the museum distributes to students proved a little challenging – but in the least our kids learned how Siam became Thailand and thoroughly enjoyed the “Thailand in the 60’s” room.

Next, we went to Sin Pan Din – an exhibit of artworks at the Ananta Throne Hall made by the Queen’s Vocational Arts Training Center in honor of the King’s 60th Anniversary of Ascension five years ago. Many of the pieces took months and years to make and represent the most elaborate craftsmanship in Thailand. Unfortunately, no photos allowed. On the bus ride, each student shared their favorite pieces.

We also had two performances: a dress rehearsal at the university and an excerpted scene for a nearby secondary school. After the scene, the local high schoolers arranged their own performance of a rhythmic folk freestyle storytelling. We were so impressed with their welcome and reception of our troupe and ended the day with killer bilingual games of “musical chairs” and “telephone.” We warned our older kids not to let the mob of autograph and photo requests inflate their ego too much because there were definitely phone numbers and Facebook names exchanged on our way out.

The day before the performance we had a Wai Kru ceremony to pay our respects to performance deities and ask for blessings for our show. We bought flower garlands at a late night flower street market as well as various fruits as offerings. Kru Yuth, a past volunteer dance teacher from the 2nd and 3rd THR trips (and advisor for this year) led the ceremony – although he recited the Pali and Sanskrit chants faster than we could repeat them, and quickly corrected himself when he told the deities the wrong play title. Oops.

Stay tuned for the next post on the final day of our program: SHOW DAY!!!