Likay:a valuabe Thai performing art heritage


Likay:or Yikay (in popular language) is a folk performing group hired to peform at Buddhist temple's annual fairs or at private houses to celedrate a housewarming, ordination or cremation ceremony. Sometimes Likay is staged as a paid performance inside a temporary enclosure where audiences have to pay a fee to enter.Inside this enclosure is a low, raised stage with settees or benches for performers to sit on during the performance. At the back of the stage is slightly higher platform for a Pipart musical band (thai orchestra consisting of the gamelan) and panels of painting of different sceneries as a backdrop to the play. The panels also serve to block off audiences from the performers dressing area.

Likay can be performed both day and night.the performance usually begins with prelude music to entice audiences to the show,followed by short skits to introduce the Likay troupe and the play of a particular session as well as to express the troupeis gratitude to the hosts and the audiences.

The outstanding feature of Likay performamce is the extravagant costumes of lead actors which generally consist of an attire adorned with fake diamonds and jewelry. the heroes wear a head band with extra large white ostrich plume and long white socks. the trademark music of Likay is the Radniklerng music which is played thoughout the performance.

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