There are a number of classic Thai dances which have their roots in the ancient royal courts of Siam. These dances were traditionally performed for Siamese royalty or visiting nobility and honoured guests. One of these is the Fingernail Dance (Fawn Lep) which is particularly associated with northern Thailand and the old Lanna kingdom. Female dancers wear brass nails as they perform the carefully choreographed movements. Fawn lep students usually start to learn whilst they are still in school and it takes plenty of practice and dedication to perfect the intricate and graceful technique of the Fingernail Dance.
Some hotels in Thailand put on weekly displays of traditional Thai dances including the Fingernail Dance. Just outside of Bangkok, the Rose Garden and Cultural Centre include a demonstration of classic fawn lep and in Chiang Mai most khan toke dinners will feature the Fingernail Dance. I took the video below at the khan toke dinner at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Centre.
Photo & video © Thaizer