Pichet Klunchun continues to invest in contemporary Thai dance

December 2008 -

"What I am trying to do is to get people in Thailand to look at their own culture in a different way. That is no easy task, but things are continually improving." The Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun won the first ROUTES Award in December 2008 with Pichet Klunchun and Myself, which he made together with the Frenchman Jérôme Bell. The prize is awarded by the European Cultural Foundation for cultural diversity.

Klunchun is very outspoken about what this means to him. "Cultural diversity is my work. I cannot imagine life without it. What I am doing with my own PK Lifework dance company is to link classical Thai dance from the Kohn culture – a traditional type of Thai dance – with contemporary dance. We are reaching a highly varied audience in Bangkok. For the traditional Thai, my performances are sometimes difficult to understand. The youth and foreigners, however, admire my work."


Image from 'Pichet Klunchun and Myself'

Pichet's dance art is highly aesthetic and links classical movements with modern dance steps and contemporary staging. Klunchun now works all over the world and is often involved in intercultural projects. "Working with various cultures is always the most exciting. In Bangkok this is a matter of course because so many Chinese, Indians and other foreigners live there. "

"There is virtually no contemporary dance tradition in Thailand, and I would like to help develop that. It is for this reason that I will certainly continue to live and work in Thailand despite the fact that I am often asked for projects in France and Germany. The award money, some 25,000 euros, is a godsend. We receive no subsidies, making it difficult to create new performances because I can pay the dancers so little. That will improve with the next production. I will be regularly working abroad, however. What I earn there will be invested in the continued development of my dance company."