The fascinating and famous Thai dance in northern Thailand is “Fan Leb” (“Fan” means dance and “Leb” means fingernail) or fingernail dance. The dancers usually wear bronze nails on every finger except for the thumbs; mostly, Fon Leb is performed together with Fon Tien. This beautiful dancing is performed with lovely, sweet music and has slow movements; it is usually performed in a group during the daytime. The chignon hairstyle worn by the dancers is typical of the North. Originally, the long chain adorning hair pieces would have been made of jasmine, but today they can be made of silver or some other bright metal. “Fon Tien” or “Candle Dance” is another famous type of dance in northern Thailand. It is performed in groups and has very slow, graceful, and almost meditative movements. Fon Tien is usually performed in festive occasions or before important guests in open air at night.
Thai dancing originated as long as 1450 years ago. It began in 850 AD at around the time when Thailand was founded. The Khmer had a heavy influence on the Thai people and most of the first dancing was Khmer. Eventually the Thais took control and created their own city-state which they named Sukhothai. Thai culture flourished and they developed their own types of dance and music.
Thai dance is known as “Fawn Thai”. Usually the dances are performed by four to six dancers, but on special occasions, several hundred dancers perform. Each dance has its own Thai music and rhythm.
N “Fawn Tian” = Candle Dance
N “Fawn Leb” = Fingernail Dance
N “Fawn Ngiew” = Scarf Dance
N “Fawn Morn Gumm Ber” = Butterfly Dance
N “Fawn Morn Mong Kol” = Happy Dance
N “Ram Dab” = Sword fighting Dance