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UMS Concert Program, March 2, 1970: The Phakavali Dancers Of Thailand -- Piphat Orchestra

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Concert: Seventh
Complete Series: 3683
Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University Musical Society
The University of Michigan
of Thailand
From the Phakavali Theatre, Bangkok
Monday Evening, March 2, 1970, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Seventh Concert Seventh Annual Chamber Arts Series Complete Program 3683
A dance scene from the classical dancedrama "Prince Suthon and Manohra." Manohra, a beautiful princess of the Kinara--half bird, half human creatures--was captured by Pran Boon, the hunter, and presented to Prince Suthon, and became his beloved consort. Through the machinations of an evil court astrologer, the Prince was lured away to a faroff battle.
Manohra, alone now and helpless, was sentenced to be buried alive to avert disaster to the state, as predicted by the astrologer. When her wings are on, she does a dance, at the end of which she flies away and rejoins her sisters, the Kinara.
Prince Suthon returns and finds Manohra gone. He grieves for her. At last, having pity on him, Manohra agrees to return to him if, in a dance she does with six of her sisters, he can recognize her and pick her out. Prince Suthon agrees to this. Manohra and her sisters return to the mortal world.
This scene is the dance done by Manohra and her sisters with Prince Suthon, at the end of which he recognizes her by the ring of his she is wearing. He picks her out and she again joins him as his consort.
Hanuman and Benchakai
This dance comes out of the "Ramakien," the Thai version of the Indian epic, the "Ramayana," chronicle of Rama's crusade against the demons. Thosakarn, the Demon King, after kidnapping Rama's consort, Sita, wished to make the Prince believe she was dead. With demonic guile, he commanded his beautiful niece, Benchakai, to transform herself into a semblance of Sita floating down the river to Prince Rama's camp, to the place where he would come to bathe. So perfect was the deception that Rama believed the beautiful Sita to be drowned and his grief was great. But Hanuman, his Monkey General, was skeptical. He requested permission to burn the body. As soon as Benchakai felt the heat, she fled through the air, but was followed and captured by the wily Hanuman.
"Perng Marng Dance"
Thai dance style is called "Thai Yai" from the time when the Thais had only advanced into the northern part of the country from Yunnan in the Thirteenth cen?tury. The music is provided by seven drums, the musicians beating the dance rhythms on skins. This kind of music is known as "Perng Marng" and this particular dance is therefore called "Perng Marng Dance."
Ram Tuan
In olden days when wars were fought, the combatants, whether they were kings, princes, or noblemen, would ride their horses towards each other. Upon meeting, one adversary would inquire of the other: "Who are you Are you the leader of the enemy Before fighting, we must know your rank and your importance in your army." This number includes singing, to which dancers mime; the weapons in their hands are called "Tuan" a lanceshaped kind of weapon used in horsesriding fights. This dance, however, is a stylized, rather than natural, fight scene.
Phoo Thai Folk Dance
In the northeast provinces of Thailand there is a village called "Phoo Thai." Though the village itself is little known, its folk dance seems to be one of the better known amongst Thai people. This dance shows the villagers of the "Phoo Thai" dance at a primitive jungle festival.
Ceremonial Fan Dance
A florid and ornamented manner of dancing. It is thought to be the dancing style of the Sukhothai (only imagination), since in those days, the ceremonial dance and music was associated with the court in many functions.
Khon--Battle of Hanuman and Virunjumbung
The Khon is the severely classical masked dancedrama of the court, danced only by men. All of its episodes are based on the Indian epic, "The Ramayana," given new translations and new dramatic versions by two Siamese Kings, Rama I and Rama II, and called in Thailand, the "Ramakien." All relate to the Indian hero Rama, and his crusade against the demons, who got so obstreperous they troubled the High Gods. In the long war with Thosakarn, the Demon King, Rama has one strong ally-Hanuman, the Monkey King. But Thosakarn has innumerable demonrelatives pos?sessing magic power and strength, and a disconcerting talent for transformation and disappearance.
Virunjumbung, his nephew, is a demon prince. On the battlefield he sees the four arms of Rama and knows him to be divine. He flees but also reduces his size to that of an atom and hides in the foam of the sea. Hanuman follows him to his refuge on the ocean floor and defeats him.
Of course, we are on the side of the heroes because the theme is the triumph of Good over Evil. Like teams in a sporting event, the warring factions are identified by their masks, and the color of their costumes. We can follow hero Hanuman, because he is always dressed in white.
Ranaad Solo
The Thai people have adopted--and adapted--more instruments than almost any other people of the East. But the Ranaad--a kind of alto xylophone with bamboo keys--is unique and their own. It grew out of a simple wooden block, struck to warn the village or to tell the hours of day and night.
Khong Lek Concerto
Like all musical instruments of Thailand, the Khong Lek's name suggests its sound, but it translates: "Small circle of gongs"--which is exactly what it is. It was invented by musicians during the reign of King Rama II, when it was decided that a smaller set of gongs was needed for the court. But its ancestor, the Khong Wong, is believed to be one of Thailand's oldest instruments, older than the Ranaad.
Sword Dance
In the old days the art of selfdefense was one of the essentials which had to be learned by kings and warriors. Nowadays it is part of the curriculum of the physical education students. Some of the weapons used are double swords, spears, arm shields, and lances. The first part of the number is a stylized version of the actual combat.
Rum Klong--The Drum Dance
Many Thai dances are named poetically for the sound of the instruments. Rum means dance and Klong is the name of drum. However, the Drum Dance of the Phakavali involves several types of drums, some in the orchestra, some in the arms of these musiciandancers.
In origin a folkdance believed to have been borrowed from neighboring countries, it is now thoroughly converted into the Thai tradition. The basic dance, of which this is a formalized version, is used in processions, either to conduct a monktobe to the Buddhist monastery or to take gifts to the monks.
ROYAL WINNIPEG BALLET......2:30, Sunday, March IS
Special Concert in Hill Auditorium
SVIATOSLAV RICHTER, Soviet Pianist, in recital . Tuesday, March 31 Tickets: $7.00--$6.50--$6.00--$5.00--$3.50--$2.50
All programs begin at 8:30 unless otherwise indicated.
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor. Two Chorale Preludes (BachOrmandy); Mahler Sym?phony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection") with EVELYN MANDAC, Soprano; BIRGIT FINNILA, Contralto; and THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION.
FRIDAY, APRIL 24, 8:30
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor. EVELYN MANDAC, Soprano and THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION in Stabat Mater (Poulenc) and "Prologue" (Alan Stout) with EVELYN MANDAC, Soprano, JON HUMPHREY, Tenor, Chorus and Orchestra. ALICIA DE LARROCHA, Pianist, in Mozart Concerto, No. 19, in F major, K. 459.
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor. Tone Poem, "Don Juan" (Strauss), VAN CLIBURN, Pianist, in Concerto No. 1 in Bflat minor, Op. 23 (Tchaikovsky); "To the Victims of Hiroshima"--Threnody (Penderecki); and Suite No. 2 from "Daphnis and Chloe" (Ravel).
SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 2:30
THOR JOHNSON, Conductor. Bach "Magnificat" with BENITA VALENTE, Soprano; MARY BURGESS, Contralto; JON HUMPHREY, Tenor; LESLIE GUINN, Baritone; and THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNIONSMALL CHORUS. Debussy's "La Damoiselle elue" with BENITA VALENTE, Soprano, and BIRGIT FINNILA, Contralto; and WOMEN'S CHORUS OF THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNION. ITZHAK PERLMAN, Violinist, in Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (Prokofieff).
SUNDAY, APRIL 26, 8:30
EUGENE ORMANDY, Conductor. Beethoven Program: Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21; Fantasia in C minor for Piano, Chorus, Soloists, and Orchestra, with RUDOLF SERKIN; BENITA VALENTE; MARY BURGESS; JON HUMPHREY; LESLIE GUINN; and THE UNIVERSITY CHORAL UNIONSMALL CHORUS. Concerto No. 5 in Eflat major ("Emperor") with RUDOLF SERKIN, Pianist.
Series Tickets: $30.00, $25.00, $20.00, $1S.OO, $10.00 Single Concerts: $7.00, $6.50, $6.00, $5.00, $3.50, $2.50
CHORAL UNION SERIES, CHAMBER ARTS SERIES, and DANCE SERIES for next season (197071) will be announced in March, at which time orders for series tickets will be accepted.
Thanks are expressed to the many thoughtful subscribers who have returned tickets for resale whenever they could not attend a concert. This affords good locations for others during the season, and provides much needed additional revenues for the Musical Society. We encourage this practice in the future, and will continue to send receipts promptly to the donor for full value of the tickets for tax credit. Contributions to the Gift Program are also tax deductible.

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