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Performing arts returns to Bankok

The Bangkok International Performing Arts Conference is preparing to reopen its doors to all attendees under the theme “Uncommon Ground” after being compelled by the epidemic to shift almost all work and exchanges to online platforms.

Through a range of activities, such as international performances, conversations, seminars, etc., “Together, we will investigate changes — the surrounds and within — and discover new possibilities in the society,” the organizers said. The Jim Thompson Art Center and other art venues in Bangkok will host the festival from March 22–26. Visit www.bipam.org to order tickets right away.

Since the last BIPAM festival, which was held three years ago, we have missed having face-to-face interactions with other artists, producers, and arts professionals from around the globe. We are back in full force with a variety of activities to welcome both domestic and foreign visitors after a protracted period of online meetings.

The concept behind the choice and layout of the activities is described by Sasapin, the artistic director of BIPAM, as follows: “The anticipation of having us all in Bangkok again is indescribable. Although we are eager to welcome you, we have no expectations. The familiar grounds have changed their appearance.

“Let’s get down to business. We’ll stroll the streets while you piece together Bangkok whichever you like. We enter othered, reimagined, and undefined realms in theaters, moving history forward and backward while combining sensations and perceptions to unlearn and rediscover.

“Forget the usual, and become unfamiliar. Let’s not act as though the world isn’t a bizarre place.

In addition to hosting international performances, BIPAM serves as a gathering place for artists to mingle and create a network for future partnerships.

This year, we present the BIPAM Explorer Pass, a brand-new special pass for attendees who want to go deeper into the festival and learn more about modern performing arts management both figuratively and literally. Secondary through postgraduate students, participants under 25, and employees of educational institutions are subject to different prices. Join us as we tour the event as an adventurer!

Visit www.bipam.org/explorerpass for additional information.

4 total performances

The first entry is Thanapol Virulhakul.

Three SEA performing arts platforms—BIPAM, Singapore International Festival of Arts, and George Town Festival—commissioned Thanapol Virulhakul to create this piece. A modern dance piece by Thanapol, a choreographer who has resumed work after a three-year absence, features Champa Saenprom and Vidura Amranand, the duo whose unlikely creative encounter enthralled the audience at BIPAM2018. Thanapol creates the unheard-of dancing style in Thai dance history where the conventional, the everyday, and the modern interact, clash, interrupt, intertwine, and change.

Date & Time: March 22 at 18.30, March 23 at 17.00 and 20.00

Location: Sathorn’s Goethe-Institut Auditorium

No dialogue in the language (partial texts in Thai with English subtitle)

Next week sees the return of the Bangkok International Performing Arts Conference.

2. Jarunun Phantachat’s “I Say Mingalaba, You Say Goodbye”

This performance by Jarunun Pantachat of B-floor was commissioned by Kyoto Experiment 2022 and recently toured in Kyoto before returning to Thailand. The piece explores Thai-Burmese connection in times of need for change, viewed via the grand story from past to now, to dig at the instilled truths therein, which may be so true it hurts or a complete and utter lie.

Date & Time: March 22 at 00:00, March 23 at 18:00, and March 26 at 19:30

The Sodsai Pantoomkomol Center for Dramatic Arts is the location.

Language: French, Japanese, Thai, Burmese, and more with subtitles in Thai, Burmese, and English

Next week 3, the Bangkok International Performing Arts Gathering returns to the venue. Ari Teperberg, “And My Heart Nearly Stood Still”

A poignant solo work by an up-and-coming Israeli artist that has captivated audiences everywhere. From a solo performance by Israeli artist Ari Teperberg to a letter from deaf-blind novelist and thinker Helen Keller expressing her gratitude after “listening” to Beethoven’s 9th symphony. We are given a close-up view of the performer’s body as he adjusts his sensitivity and urgently searches for another language to use for communication that transcends limits, disability, and loneliness. Can we become deaf and blind together on this unfamiliar ground?

Date & Time: March 24 at 18:00 and 20:00 / March 25 at 20:00

Location: TCDC, Function Room, 4th Floor

Language: A few reading notes in English with a Thai translation; no conversation.

Next week sees the return of the Bangkok International Performing Arts Conference.

4. Mark Teh’s “A Notional History”

A performer, a journalist, and an activist unearth erasures, exclusions, and issues surrounding the Malayan Emergency in “A Notional History” by examining school textbooks, inherited recollections, and video interviews with exiled revolutionaries. They examine and make assumptions about potential histories for a different Malaysia by combining the subjective, the objective, and the hypothetical. The publication of new, official history textbooks in Malaysia comes at a crucial time after the 2018 general elections, in which voters elected a new government after 61 years. This documentary performance is a response to that moment. Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Brussels, Georgetown (Penang), and Yokohama will all host further performances of A National History in 2022. Organized alongside other performances in BIPAM 2023, its correlation will start a conversation about Southeast Asia in contemporary times.

Date & Time: 24 March 20:30, 25 through 26 March 18:30

Venue: TCDC Gallery

Language: Thai and English Subtitles with English and Bahasa Malaysian

www.bipam.org/performances for more information.

Speeches & Workshops (highlights)

1. The director of Bangkok Theatre Festival, Thailand’s oldest theater festival, will offer you a report titled “Digging Deep in Thailand Performing Arts Landscape”.

2. The only dramaturg network in Asia, the Asian Dramaturg’s Network, will be in attendance to present their methods and experiences in dramaturgy.

3. Artists, art organizations, and human rights organizations in BIPAM will interact and share ideas at a workshop hosted by Artists at Risk Connection, a human rights organization that supports freedom of expression. Also, there will be special seminars taught by festival performers this year.

4. Dance leaders from Singapore, Japan, Canada, Indonesia, and other countries led the discussion, which was sponsored by the forum “Borderless Dance Ecology,” which is solely devoted to the dance scene.

In order to frame the vast range of concerns occurring in the Southeast Asian performing arts landscape in the post-pandemic age, more than 10 selected subjects of discussion and presentation from BIPAM registrants were chosen this year.

www.bipam.org/talksandworkshops for further information.

Festival Tickets

BIPAM 2023 offers a range of passes for participants who are Thai citizens to choose from.

1. Complete Pass: For 3,500 Thai Baht, participate in any program offered over the festival’s five days.

2. BIPAM supporter or friend: You can show your support for BIPAM at this price in addition to the regular donation. As a small self-funded collective, your small contribution would be greatly appreciated. With your help, BIPAM will be able to ensure that every hard-working individual and drop of sweat at BIPAM2023 is properly cared for.

3. Performance Package: For 3,000 Baht, see all 4 performances at BIPAM.

4. A single show ticket is 800 baht. Choose the performance of your choice.

5. Workshop Pass: For 800 Baht per session, take part in a workshop of your choice.

6. The Explorer Pass entitles you to a free Educational Program Pass if you fall under one of the following categories: (1) Under 25 (2) Actively enrolled in secondary to postgraduate coursework 3) A teacher, an instructor, or other employees of a school. Discounted price of 2,500 baht.

Next week sees the return of the Bangkok International Performing Arts Conference.

Organize your itinerary and view the festival’s complete schedule at www.bipam.org/pricelistbipam2023

BIPAM 2023 is made possible by the Japan Foundation, The Creative Economy Agency (CEA), Contemporary Arts & Culture Industry Promotion, Ministry of Culture, Thailand Convention & Exhibition Bureau (TCEB), and Contemporary Art Promotion Fund (CAPT). The Jim Thompson Art Center in Bangkok will host the festival from March 22 to March 26, 2023. Visit the websites bipam.org and bipambkk on Facebook for more details and to purchase tickets.

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