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The Khon - Documentary on Thai Classical Dance - Rama & SitaThe Khon - Documentary on Thai Classical Dance - Rama & Sita
At the end of the 18th century Thailand was defeated by its arch enemy Burma and the capital Ayudhya destroyed. A new beginning was made further down river at Bangkok. Along with new palaces and temples the kings brought back the old forms of dance which had graced the court of Ayudhya. A Thai version of the Indian epic of the doings of King Rama called in Thailand the Ramakien was produced and through the preservation of the dance and the development of these stories, Thai culture was given a new treasure all its own.

Modern times always view the past differently and the traditional arts in Thailand can be easily swamped and forgotten just as elsewherein the world. Fortunately there are still talented and devoted dancers and musicians and artists who keep it all alive and in the Academy ofMusic and Dance which thrives today in Chieng Mai film makerMalcolm Hossick has found a treasure to record for the outside world to see.

This documentary film follows the training and development of young dancers and musicians along with parts of finished performances of two stories from the Ramakien. Complete performances of these ballets are
available on a second dvd.
Price: 14.74 / $22.99 (Excluding VAT at 20%)

The Khon - Two complete ballets - Nonduk's Finger & the Abduction of SitaThe Khon - Two complete ballets - Nonduk's Finger & the Abduction of Sita
Complete performances of the ballets Nonduk's Finger and The Abduction of Sita performed by artists and musicians from the College of Music and Dramatic arts in Chieng Mai Thailand, filmed and edited by Malcolm Hossick with subtitles and commentary in English.

Nonduk's Finger (duration: 53') concerns the difficulties of Nonduk, gatekeeper to the great god Shiva, and how the help Shiva gives him turns against him. Revenge and retribution and the vagaries of power
are the subject of this charming fantasy.

In The Abduction of Sita (duration: 63') Lust and jealousy almost destroy the wonderful relationship between the noble god Rama and his beautiful wife Sita but with the help of the kindly and wily monkey god Hanuman, all is resolved.

These two ballets display the charm and colour of the Classical Dance of Thailand known as the Khon. Mask, movement, gesture, song and music combine to give a strange but timeless parade of human weakness and virtue which reflect in a remarkable way the struggles of modern Thailand to come to terms with the demands of democracy and the weight of tradition.
Price: 14.74 / $22.99 (Excluding VAT at 20%)

Bangkok - The Divine City : part of a series in asian studiesBangkok - The Divine City : part of a series in asian studies
A documentary history of the city of Bangkok from it's foundation at the end of the 18th century up to the last quarter of the twentieth.

The film was shot in 1973 when Thailand was on the cusp of it's astounding development into the vibrant and astonishingly modern city it now is with skyscrapers and expressways on every hand. By showing glimpses of a time long gone the film is itself now a piece of history.

With the founding of Bangkok came the founding of the remarkable Chakri dynasty of absolute kings who have led the country so ably through the complexities of the last two centuries; the film outlines some of their major contributions up to those of the present king. Still today the place of the now constitutional monarchy is kernel as the country struggles to establish its fragile democracy and the film goes some way to explain this. It also brings out the lives of ordinary people and some of the many distinctive elements of the Bangkok world.

Malcolm Hossick has had a long association with Thailand; he taught the children of the present king and married a Thai and to this day counts many Thais among his closest friends and sees Thailand as his second home. He learned the craft of Film making in the BBC and this was one of his first efforts to bring a knowledge of Thailand to the outside world.

Duration: approx 40 minutes
Price: 14.74 / $22.99 (Excluding VAT at 20%)

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King Rama 6th of Thailand: part of a series in asian studiesKing Rama 6th of Thailand: part of a series in asian studies
RAMA 6th King of Siam
The video follows the life of King Vajiravudh, Rama 6th of the Chakri dynasty of Siam, modern Thailand. Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonised by a western power and King Vajiravudh was the first Thai king to have been educated in the west. In the eyes of the world rather overshadowed by his charismatic father King Chulalongkorn (best known to the world at large as the king in the musical the King and I) King Vajiravudh was an unusually talented and sensitive man who learned a great deal from his life in England and who committed himself to continuing the reform of his country begun by his father. Trying to be a democrat and a monarch with absolute power was a difficult act. He soon began appointing people on merit and not because they were his brothers or cousins. This was not the way to win the support of the ruling clique. However up to his sudden and unexpected death in 1926 he clung tenaciously to his beliefs and worked tirelessly and often very effectively for his country. The programme was made with the support of the Museum to his memory in Bangkok and is dedicated to the remarkable school he founded, Vajiravudh College.

Running time: approx 50 minutes
Price: 14.74 / $22.99 (Excluding VAT at 20%)

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