School of Ganesh Dance Performance
Acclaimed choreographer Jitti Chompee, founder of 18 Monkeys Dance Theatre, continues to bridge the traditional and the contemporary in his latest performance, “School of Ganesh,” at Lido Connect in Pathum Wan, Bangkok.
Following his bestowment of the insignia of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French culture minister in September, Jitti returns to promote performing arts in Thailand with his 2021 oeuvre.
From November 12th-15th, Jitti is joined by a diverse group of performers, including dancers from his own 18 Monkeys Dance Theatre, traditional Khon artists from the Fine Arts Department and the Bunditpatanasilpa Institute, as well as Eloïse Grastilleur and Grégoire Manhès, dancers from the National High Conservatory Of Music and Dance of Lyon who are joining the project via the Embassy of France in Bangkok.
This performance experiments with the concept of “Body Architecture” and “Moving Sculpture” to reimagine the traditional art of Khon using fragmented storytelling.
Jitti created School of Ganesh as an homage to the elephant-headed Hindu deity of arts and sciences. Ganesh holds deep-seated importance in traditional Thai performance arts.
Captivated by Khon narration and techniques, he reinterprets famous Khon excerpts through contemporary sounds and visuals that provoke new ideas and perspectives on the mythology. For example, the use of balloons in the performance is meant to mimic the static expressions of traditional Khon masks.
School of Ganesh also shows Jitti’s fascination with animalism, portraying characters from the Ramakien epic and other mythical creatures by having performers wearing animal masks.