During a recent Arts Council/British Council funded research trip to Thailand, music producer and composer Sebastian Reynolds (PinDrop Music) and choreographer Adrienne Hart (Neon Dance) have developed an idea to work with internationally acclaimed Thai dancer and choreographer Pichet Klunchun, to produce a dance and music stage work based around a fusion of Thai traditional forms, and western contemporary dance and music. The piece will depict the story of Mahajanaka, an ancient Indian folk myth that is part of the Buddhist canon of stories The Jatakas. These stories tell the previous lives of the Buddha to be (the Boddhisatta) as he perfects 10 spiritual qualities that enable him, in his final life, to become enlightened and be able to teach others the path. The intention is to produce a work that brings these qualities and the Boddisatta's adventures as Mahajanaka to life in a way that it engaging and appealing to as wide an audience as possible.
We are fundraising this money to ensure that we can bring Pichet to the UK in October 2016 to spend a week in the studio developing ideas that will hopefully form the basis for the piece. We want to make a work that can be presented in Europe, America and Asia, a work that appeals to audiences of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, East and West. The piece, we hope, will transcend ethnic and linguistic divides and help shine a light on the common, allegorical narratives of Jataka mythology, bible stories and European folk tales, and explore the aesthetics of traditional Thai dance, music and costume, and their relationships to western traditional and contemporary forms.
Risks and challenges
The Artists' International Development Fund enabled the team to travel to Thailand and meet with many fantastically talented creative partners. Now that we have established connections with these partners, I need support to start working creatively to bring our ideas to life. Creativity is always risky, because it is very hard to predict outcomes of collaboration, but we have successfully facilitated many collaborations of all sorts, and I feel that it is worth trying to bring the team together to start working, with the hope that we can lay the foundations for the project to be fully realised by 2018.
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