“Do the Xoe dance one more time
The rice, corn and kernel are all full
Rhythm and flexibility as the clouds
For those who are passionately ecstatic with love”
In every family party such as new house celebration, wedding or even big festivals of Muong village such as new rice festival, Fullmoon festival, “Xip Xi” festival, Orchid Tree flower-picking festival...you will see Xoe dance everywhere. Xoe dance can be as luxurious as the European ballet, but it is also very popular and close to the people, in harmony with the sound of “Khai” (Thai folk song) in the bustling, fluttering sound of the trumpets, drums, gong,...
Xoe is not only a “specialty” of the Thai people, but there are Xoe Muong and Xoe Tay, but Xoe Thai is the most prominent, more subdued, more magical. Because Xoe Thai has a very majestic “orchestra” including Khen ra, drums, mu, and bamboo tubes. These sounds, when combined together, make a unique and unusual harmony, creating a very special background music that enhances the magical beauty of Xoe. You could experience an extremely elated feeling when each of us is mixed in the circle to feel the unpredictable charm of the dance, hand in hand to give each other warmth, to give each other love, to share, to wrap around the bright red camp-fire.
Moreover, Xoe is not simply a dance just for fun, but it also contains special languages. Each movement, posture, gait, formation, and movement, even though it is very small, contains different levels, nuances and emotions. It is the heartful love of life, the passionate love of men and women, the faithful husband and wife love, the aspiration in labor, production, and battle...
All of these things have been put together by the Thai people like precious jewels, thereby embedding them into each Xoe, making them more luxurious and splendid, containing the quintessence of the Thai people for thousands of years. Another attractive thing that makes Xoe Thai more fascinating is the dancer’s outfit. The girls wore skirts with delicate embroidered patterns with sensual camo tops, plus a long red scarf around their necks like fairies dancing for the Jade Emperor to enjoy.
The space for Xoe Thai dance is not small, but the ring must be spacious, attracting hundreds and thousands of people to participate, which is called “The Grand Xoe”. This proves that Xoe Thai is highly communal, not conservative but always open, like the Thai people’s soul is always liberal, romantic and extremely hospitable.
Currently, Thai culture still preserves six ancient Xoe dances. The gesture of “kham khan moi lau” means raising a cloth to offer wine to show love and hospitality. The dance “pha xi” means giving four, symbolizing the four directions of heaven and earth, solidarity, exchange, and human affection. The “don hon” dance, which moves forward, backward and jump forwards and backwards, showing that even though there are storms and waves in heaven and earth, human affection for each other will be always “the same before and after”. The “nhom khan” dance, which means hurl the cloth up, expresses the joy of a bountiful rice season, building new houses, giving birth, adding grandchildren, getting married...The “om lom top mu” means the wrist circle, which means the joy and happy to meet, nervous when parting after each Xoe. Especially, the “kham khen” dance, which means holding hands in a circle, represents the solidarity of ethnic groups in the Vietnamese community. Thereby, we can see that Xoe Thai contributes to enhancing cultural exchanges between regions and countries.
Each of us probably would be moved when holding hands with the pink and white beautiful young women like flowers of the mountains and forests dancing around the fire, in the glaze of wine and mixed with the bustling sound of trumpets, drums, and muzzles. That feeling is as real as dreamlike in a fairy tale. The two sides of reality and fantasy are intertwined, making it like a “drug” that is very addictive and difficult to resist its charm. Xoe slowly hypnotizes us, leading us to walk in the joy of solidarity, of noble art, also very idyllic, very down to earth, like the sincere and honest Thai people with the artist’s soul soaring.
It is these unique features, rich in aesthetics, art, humanity, community and national identity that Xoe Thai has become a unique cultural feature that needs to be preserved, developed and widely spreading, contributing to promoting the development of tourism, improving the lives of all Thai people in the localities.