Ramwong, what's that then?
Not an original dance and song style as some think but created by the 1940's by PM, Phibun, the one who built 'victory' monument, anyway him and his mrs La-iat. They thought the good people of the kingdom were being a bit corrupted by the fox trot and the cha cha cha so came up with ramwong. After touring the countryside they took elements of folk dances, probably considered a bit common and low class, and came up with the circular ramwong dance and melodies in 1944. Or rather the fine arts dept came up with 10 ramwong dances(ramwong marathan) at their, er, request. This was presented as 'Thai' as opposed to country backwardness, although they took it from country music. It was popular for just about as long as he was and as soon as he was out it went into a decline, about 1955. Early stars of ramwong were Benjamin and even Surapol Sombatchareun who started out with ramwong songs.
You can still see ramwang concerts today (going to one tonight I hope) but the good ones are rather rare. Od FourS is the most famous,worthy of Benjamin's title of the king of ramwong. Such concerts have another stage set up in front of the main one where the dancers sit lined up with numbers on them. You buy a book of tickets, 80 baht last one I went to which entitles you for a dance per ticket with the girl of your choice. Not a bad night out and all very proper of course, rarely get drunks or a holes at such events, well there might be just the one Well worth a look if he comes your way. Just noticed a giant in the vid,never seen him at a concert, went to his sons bodlian concert a few years ago, no dancers though. Hope he comes back round our way soon.Anyway, if you ever wondered what ramwong is, probably not, there you are. Not to be confused with morlam, that would never do
Last edited by petrus; 7th Apr 2016 at 05:44.