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Performance Research Seen through the Lens of Cultural Ecology: A Case Study of an Innovative Production at Chiang Mai’s Lanna Wisdom School

posted on 2020-12-24, 13:18 authored by Pornrat Damrhung
This paper examines a performance project called Kita Natakan Lanna (Lanna Music and Dance) done by the artist, Saran Suwanachote, or Khru Nick, a dancer in the Northern martial dance form of “Choeng,” at the local arts and culture center known as the Lanna Wisdom School in Chiang Mai. By working with Khru Nick and observing how he produced a new work for this project, I learned that he used an approach based on a local form of cultural life made of interconnected parts, and used the concept of Rabob Niwet or “ecology.” This system is used to transmit distinct forms of local “wisdom,” including artistic knowledge, in Northern Thailand. This ecosystem approach is being used to develop innovative and sustainable ways to include performance practices and knowledge in projects linking Bangkok’s universities to local urban communities with support from Chulalongkorn University’s new Research Cluster in the Arts
and Culture.