Seychellois students travel to Thailand to learn traditional Thai dance
The students are from the schools of dance of Mahe and La Digue. (Seychelles Nation)
Seychellois students from the National Conservatoire of Performing Arts are currently on an exchange in Thailand learning traditional Thai dance. The exchange is part of international dance workshops which the school of dance within the institution organises every two years.
Pierre Joseph, director of the Conservatoire, told SNA on Monday that the 15 students left the country last week.
“The students, aged 11 and above, have been chosen for this dance workshop based on their performances and commitment shown during dance classes during the two past years. Among the group are students who performed very well in last year’s Biennale of dances,” explained Joseph.
The students are from the schools of dance of Mahe, the main island, and La Digue, the third most populated island of Seychelles -- a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. Joseph said the young dancers are having exchanges with students of the Thailand School of Performing Arts and Dance Centre in Bangkok.
“In Thailand, they will take part in various activities and will have the opportunity to learn new choreography including ballet, traditional Thai dance, hip-hop and jazz alongside Thai dance students. Yoga will also be included on the programme,” said Daniella Rose, the head of the School of Dance.
Rose, who is accompanying the group, said this trip is the third exchange that Seychellois students are undertaking in Thailand.
“We try to arrange international workshops every two years as a reward for our students and also an opportunity for learning. For most of these students, it is their first time travelling for dance,” said Rose.
The group will also be showcasing two traditional Seychellois dances and another piece of contemporary dance for an audience of 200 people. The students are accompanied by six dance instructors as well as two parents.
Rose added that “the trip has been financed by the parents of the students and also with support from the School of Dance and the Ministry of Local Government, Home Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture.
Antonia Ah-Kon and Rio Damoo are two young dancers taking part in the exchange. Ah-Kon has been taking dance classes for 12 years.
“I am excited for the trip as it will be an opportunity to experience and learn a new culture,” said Ah-Kon, who adds that she has previously attended a similar dance workshop with the school in South Africa. Ah-Kon recounts that the South African experience was a fun experience.
Damoo, 13, is participating in his first international dance workshop. “We have been training six days a week for the performance and we are all looking forward to showcasing our talent,” said an excited Damoo.
The director of the island nation’s Conservatoire of Performing Arts said the group will spend 13 days in Thailand and will return to Seychelles on August 28. According to Joseph, the group will have the chance to showcase their newly acquired dance skills in the end of year show in November or early in December.