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The line between life and death is joyously erased in a physical work of rare intensity.

Award-winning Thai choreographer Pichet Klunchun leads you into a space between life and death, where the material and immaterial meet, and where body and spirit exist in a state of kinetic freedom.

When Klunchun first visited the Phi Ta Khon ghost festival, he found a place where the living and the dead mingled and death was not to be feared but celebrated. Through vibrant and colourful costumes and masks – and dance that is free, fluid and organic – fertility and mortality were woven together to joyfully honour both.

Inspired, Klunchun went on to invent a new physical language marrying the improvisational and intuitive nature of folk expression with his contemporary choreographic system based on classical Thai dance.

Step onto the State Theatre stage for an up-close experience that's out of this world. Fast-rising fashion designer Piyaporn Bhongse-tong (Flynow) provides stunning costumes, while Japanese collaborators Asako Miura and Hiroshi Iguchi create light and sonic landscapes, with music sampled from field recordings of the Phi Ta Khon itself.

“Dancing with Death is situated in the spiritual everyday... When the dancers come together they exert a palpable force, the force of common humanity.”RealTime Arts

“gorgeous from start to finish”

The New York Times on Pichet Klunchun's Chui Chai


Choreographer: Pichet Klunchun
Dancers: Pichet Klunchun, Porramet Maneerat, Padung Jumpan, Kornkarn Rungsawang, Julaluck Eakwattanapun, Pavida Watchirapanyaporn

Artistic Director: Pichet Klunchun
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
Produced by: Pichet Klunchun Dance Company and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay (Singapore)

Arts Centre Melbourne Sidney Myer Fund  EsplanadeAAC Aus Crest

Dancing with Death has been commissioned by Arts Centre Melbourne for Asia TOPA with support from the Australian Government through the Australia-ASEAN Council of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, Singapore for da:ns series 2016, Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama 2016 Executive Committee and Adelaide Festival Centre’s OzAsia Festival.

Asia TOPA is a joint initiative of the Sidney Myer Fund and Arts Centre Melbourne and is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments.

Dancing With Death

Arts Centre Melbourne presents Pichet Klunchun Dance Company

Date & Time:

2 – 4 March 2017

Thursday 2 March, 8pm
Friday 3 March, 8pm
Saturday 4 March, 8pm


General Admission

Standard: $49
Concession*: $39
Group^: $44.10
3 Show Package: $41.65

*Concession: Applies to persons Uunder 16, MEAA, Pensioners, Unemployed, Full-time Students, Health Care Card Holders, Victoria Care Card Holders

^Groups of 4 or more, available through Box Office and Contact Centre only

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All prices include GST.

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On-stage seating

WARNING: This performance contains haze as an effect.