I am a Demon

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 December, 2009, 12:00am

I am a Demon
Pichet Klunchun
Black Box Theatre, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre
Reviewed: Nov 27

Thai choreographer/dancer Pichet Klunchun teamed up with French counterpart Jerome Bel at last year's New Vision Arts Festival to explore the traditional Thai classical dance Khon through an East-West dialogue. He returned on Friday for this year's Festival of Solo & Improv, organised by independent dance troupe Y-Space, to perform the ancient dance form again. I am a Demon is Klunchun's tribute to his teacher of 16 years, who died five years ago.

The performance began with Klunchun sitting cross-legged - which was how he began his first Khon lesson. He then launched into a sequence of dances as a recorded interview (presumably with his teacher) explained how each dance required years of training, which is evident in Klunchun's muscular physique and the precision of his movements.

Klunchun performed an extract from a traditional dance featuring the Demon King. The demon is one of four pillar characters in Khon, and one in which Klunchun's teacher specialised. It was an engaging performance that showed Klunchun's understanding of Khon and his relationship with his teacher.

However, the 'jamming session' that followed - featuring Klunchun, Y-Space's Victor Ma, vocalist Priscilla Leung and musicians Wong Yan-kwai and Jeff Siu - failed to ignite a spark between the classically trained Klunchun and the other performers.