Dancing With Death

by Pichet klunchun


“Dancing with Death" is situated in the spiritual everyday. It boasts liminal figures: gods and the godlike…When the dancers come together they exert a palpable force, the force of common humanity.” – RealTime Arts, Australia.


Dancing With Death เต้นรำกับความตาย

by Pichet Klunchun

Performed: Pichetklunchun Dance Company dancers

60 minutes


Produced byPichet Klunchun Dance Company and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore)
Commissioned by: Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore for
ns series 2016
Co-produced by: Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2016 executive committee, Arts Centre Melbourne and Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival

ChoreographerArtistic Director: Pichet Klunchun 

Dancers: Sunon Wachirawarakarn, Pichet Klunchun, Porramet  Maneerat, Padung Jumpan, Kornkarn Rungsawang, Julaluck Eakwattanapun

Set Design: Pichet Klunchun

Lighting Designer: Asako Miura

Sound Designer: Hiroshi Iguchi

Costume Designer: Piyaporn Bhongse-tong

Dramaturg: Lim How Ngean

Production Coordinator/Manager: Sojirat Singholka

 Stage Manager: Jirach Eiamsa-ard


Where there is life, there is death, and where there is death, there is life. In Dancing with Death, award-winning choreographer Pichet Klunchun creates a space in between these intertwined worlds where the material and immaterial meet, where body and spirit exist in a state of kinetic freedom. 

This liminal world - and being -  between the living and the dead was first experienced by Klunchun at a Thai folk festival and parade where locals don colorful masks and vibrant costumes to joyfully honor fertility and death. Here, death is not feared but celebrated, and dance is free, fluid and organic in expression.

This inspired Klunchun to create a new physical vocabulary marrying the improvisational and intuitive nature of folk expression with Klunchun’s contemporary choreographic system based on classical Thai dance. Using this intricate movement language, seven dancers, including Klunchun, navigate cyclical paths of existence that vacillate between life and death, never clearly separating but always blurring the lines between these two phenomena. The spirit world parallels the material world and yet these realms intersect all the time engaging with each other. Just like how past gestures and movements keep returning to present choreographies. The 'ghosting' of these gestures are just like the haunting of spirits in the material world but also manifestations of the material in the ether.