it  is said that  there are  few performances more  elegant  and  graceful than the traditional Thai
Dance  –  comprising  graceful  movements,  brilliant  colours,  soft  rhythms  and  a  radiating
presence. The traditional Thai dance is symbolic of the Thai character itself. The art form is very
strict, employing 108 basic movements and keeping the body upright from the neck to the hips,
moving up and down using only the knees, and stretching to the rhythm of the music. A great
deal  of  symbolism  is  displayed  in  complex  and  beautifully  executed  finger  and  hand
movements.

Thai classical dances can be divided in to 3 major forms: Khon, Lakhon and Fawn Thai. Each of
these is accompanied  by a special orchestra of traditional Thai musical instruments, with each
having its distinctive tempo and movement.

Khon: The most stylised form of Thai dance, performed by dancers who mime the action while
the  story  is  being  told  or  sung  by  a  chorus.  Dancers  wear  elaborate  costumes  and  masks  to
portray different characters that include demons, monkeys, humans and celestial beings.

Lakhon:  Features  a  wider  range  of  stories  than  Khon,  including  folk  tales  and  Jataka  stories.
The  movements  are  graceful  and  sensual,  portraying  different  emotions.  The  dancers  are
usually female and perform as a group rather than representing individual characters.

Fawn Thai:  Originally  an  art  performed  in  the  royal  courts  of  old  Siam  where  precision  and
beauty were the highlights of every performance.

Thai  traditional  dance  is  not  just  entertaining,  but  it  is  also,  in  fact,  an  excellent  form  of
exercise,  physical  therapy  and  meditation.  A  combination  of  Thai  dance  and  music  can  help
patients  to  improve  movement,  mobility  and  balance,  since  each  dance  movement  is
harmonized with the musical rhythm and works all major muscle groups in your body.

It  is  a  good  low-impact  exercise  for  patients  with  Parkinson’s  disease.  The  Thai  dance
movements  require  patients  to  keep  the  back  straight  and  stretch  the  elbows,  shoulder  joints
and  fingers.  They  also  have  to  learn  to  shift  their  weight  to  the  rhythm.  Therefore,  traditional
Thai  dancing  can  improve  a  body’s  balance  and  prevent  joint  stiffening.  It  can  help  to  stretch
the muscles and strengthen them as well.

Patients can do just one Thai traditional dance movement, but get the same physical benefit as
doing  two  or  three  physical  therapy  based  exercises.  For  example,  Pom-See-Nah

(ท่าพรหมสี่หน้า)  and  Nok-Yoong-Fon-Hang

(ท่านกยู งฟ้อนหาง);  increase  the  movement  around shoulder  joints  and  wrist  areas  as  well  as  help  to  stretch  flexor  muscles.  Sawt-Soi-Ma-La
(ท่าสอดสร้อยมาลา );  exercise  fingers,  especially  the  thumb  and  index  fingers.  Marn-Gub-Lung
(ท่ามารกลับหลัง); exercise leg muscles and hips, stretch lower back, etc.

Thai  traditional  dance  is  beneficial  for  all  ages,  genders,  shapes  and  sizes.  It  is  also  a  perfect
workout  for seniors and patients recovering from knee surgery or paralysis. Due to the unique
character  of  Thai  traditional  music,  which  has  a  slow  rhythm  in  the  beginning  and  gradually
increases in rhythm towards the end, helps patients to increase their exercise speed naturally.

Source: http://www.thaitradeusa.com/home/?p=7870
https://asianinspirations.com.au/asian-culture/traditional-thai-dance-forms/​

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