Phralak Phralam Royal Theatre - Luang Prabang

Phralak Phralam Royal Theatre

Phralak Phralam is the national epic of the Lao people, which has been adapted from an earlier Sanskrit epic poem, the Ramayana, written by Valmiki in the second century BCE.

Lao legends attribute to the introduction of the Phra Lam Xadôk via the first king of Lan Xang, Chao Fa Ngoum, who arrived with his soldiers, artists, dancers, concubines, poets from musicians from Angkor who would have been familiar with the Reamker. Yet Indic civilizations knew of what is now Yunnan in China, as "Gandhara" no later than the second century B.C. Hindu culture, language and religion spread into that part of the world incident to the cultural achievements of the Sahavahanas (230 BC–AD 220.) Though definitive dates cannot be established for the gradual Tai inland migration from China, transmission of the epic likely occurred much sooner than the traditional date. Tai tribes definitely settled on the fringes of highly Indianized kingdoms of the Mon and Khmer culture, adopting much of Indic learning and knowledge. As those kingdoms receded, the Lao came to venerate the earlier Hindu temples, often decorated in Ramayana and the Mahabharata motifs, such as at Wat Phou in Champassak.

Culture and art:
The importance of Phra Lak Phra Lam to Lao culture can be seen in how ubiquitous it is. It is a mainstay of dance and drama, song, painting, sculpture, religious texts, and manuscripts. It is also seen in the more common arts, such as classical morlam, folklore, and village dances.[14] Scenes from court dancers were performed on Lao New Year celebrations and other Buddhist holidays. The texts are commonly read during sermons. The tales themselves have been deeply interwoven into local folklore, myth, and legend. Sculpture, lacquerware, carvings, and paintings adorn temples and palaces. The chapters have been intricately crafted into song and dance and accompanying music. Through the Buddhist elements, Lao beliefs of morality and karma are reaffirmed. The first half of Lao versions also establish the mythology for the creation of the Lao polities, land features, and waterways, and it serves as a transmission of culture.

Live show at Phralak-Phralam theater in Luang Prabang

Location: Royal Temple.

Performances: Phralak-Phralam drama, episode: "Finding Sida", Champa Meuanglao dance, giant dance, monkey dance and Nang Keo dance.

Timing: Start from 18:00 PM