Thursday, 8 December 2016

Menora, Mak Yong and Main Peteri Dances

Both Mak Yong and Menora dances are Thai dances. They are different dances. Menora dancers are usually males, while Mak Yong dancers are females.

The Menora originates from northern Thailand, where it is called Khon. It is not called Menora in Thailand.

Menora is performed as part of a worship and involves a mantra before it is presented to the audience. Since it is a part of worship, it is no longer performed by Malay dancers.

There are two types of Menora - the Thai Khon (Menora Siam) and Malay Menora (Menora Melayu).

The movements of the Thai Khon are sudden jerks, jumps and turns, which differentiates it from the Malay Menora.

The Malay Menora has smooth graceful movements - like that of a flying eagle, and with the arms spread out during the dance.
Thai Khon (Menora Siam) oil on canvas painting by Ayub Mohamed, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Mak Yong is a Kelantan royal court dance, but is now performed at many public occasions. It is not part of worship, but it has Hindu elements, and is no longer performed by Malay dancers.

Mak Yong water-colour painting by Ayub Mohamed, Kota Bharu, Kelantan.

Main Peteri (Main Puteri) is performed in plain kampung clothes by male dancers, as part of a ritual to entertain mothers after maternal delivery. Certain mothers feel depressed. Main Peteri is performed to prevent them from suffering from postnatal blues. The men dance to make the mother(s) happy. There are many versions.

Source of information on Menora and Mak Yong:
En Ayub Mohamed, Kelantan painter, based at Kg Kraftangan in Kota Bharu.

Other links:
Thai Khon (Menora Siam):
Mak Yong:
Main Peteri: