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Fine Arts Collaborations Events

Rain Motions: Connecting (with) the Skies of Southeast Asia

Type/Category: Public Outreach Event / Seminar/ Performing Arts

Venue: Online and Bangkok, Thailand

Date: Feb – May 2023


  • ASEAN Committee for Culture and Information (ASEAN COCI)
  • Ministry of Culture Thailand

On 19 May 2023, the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SPAFA) in partnership with the Ministry of Culture Thailand, with support from the ASEAN Cultural Fund, is organizing a seminar and performance at Ratchadamnoen Contemporary Art Center (RCAC) Bangkok, Thailand for the project activity titled, “Rain Motions: Connecting (with) the Skies of Southeast Asia”. This collaborative activity, which began in February 2023 through a series of online workshops, has brought together a group of Southeast Asian scholars and performers to share and discuss rain and water-related traditions and practices in their respective Southeast Asian countries.

After several months of sharing and discussions through the online workshop meetings, the Southeast Asian scholars and performers will convene in Bangkok, Thailand, for a final, on-site seminar and joint performance on the 19th of May (Friday). The seminar, running from 09:30 – 15:00 hours, is open to the public to join. As seating at the seminar is limited, we will only accept the public who have pre-registered. Please pre-register for the seminar by 16 May 2023 at this link: https://forms.gle/PtrE1VvH9WRioMJK6.

[View *programme schedule for the Rain Motions event on 19 May 2023, HERE.] *Tentative and subject to changes.

The project “Rain Motions: Connecting (with) the Skies of Southeast Asia” is a collaborative endeavour between SEAMEO SPAFA and the Ministry of Culture Thailand, with support from the ASEAN Cultural Fund, to promote creativity and innovation in the performing arts in Southeast Asia. It will provide a platform for scholars, performers and researchers to share and stimulate knowledge exchanges on water or rain-related traditions in the region, and most importantly, to break the barriers between dance genres through a series of discussions and performances that will culminate in a collaborative “finale performance” from the participating countries.

Rain, as with water, is a source of life for many Southeast Asian ethnic communities. This dependence has brought forth a variety of practices or rituals that embody narratives about their relationship with, and linkages between, the natural and spiritual worlds. This project aims to provide a new perspective from the widely performed Southeast Asian masked and traditional ethnic dances, as well as a mean to bridge the past and present. The focus on rain also proves to be timely as we now commonly face threats from climate change and constraints in hydrological resources.

1. Stimulate innovation in the development of new contemporary dance creations using local Southeast Asian traditions as a source of inspiration

2. Facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experience among contemporary dancers, choreographers, and scholars in Southeast Asia

3. Increase appreciation for cultural and natural heritage preservation and contemporary dance among audiences in Southeast Asia

1. Increased awareness on the importance of safeguarding cultural and natural heritage; protecting and restoring all water-related ecosystems; and integrating ecosystem and biodiversity values into development processes.

2. Raised appreciation for shared and diverse practices, values and beliefs by exploring the deep traditional connections between nature and culture.

3. Increased literacy in and appreciation for history, tradition and diversity in the modern world.

4. Strengthened regional identity and knowledge of the shared and diverse heritage of Southeast Asia.

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