Oblivion is a tragic fate for Thai performance arts to meet, but that's exactly where residents and visitors alike fear they're headed. A concern for these endangered cultural treasures brought artists and civic planners together for last year's inaugural Wat Arun Festival, a lucrative way to consecrate, enliven and fund the landmark temple.
Dovetailing with the Loy Krathong celebrations, the festival will unpack a venerable cultural storehouse, featuring obscure and rare performances such as Khon Chak Rok ("flying" Khon court dance) by Joe Louis Theatre, a sound and light show, and, new to the festival this year, Ngiew Chinese Opera.
Other spectator-friendly events that have carried over from last year are the traditional Thai games and sports, such as bound-hands Muay Thai, Tai Luad (tightrope walking), Mai Hok Soong (somersaulting on high posts) and Thai spear fighting. In addition, Wat Arun's grounds will also be peppered with Thai classical food stalls and sophisticated handicrafts booths.
Added by reck on September 19, 2005