The Manohra Dance featuring the sacrifice by fire is a solo dance excerpted from the story of Prince Suthon and Kinnari. The Manohra is a half bird, half woman creature, a wife of Prince Suthon. While the prince is engaging in a war, the unscrupulous court of advisors conspire to mislead the King to believe that he is in a desperately ill situation. The only means to eradicate the evil spell is by sacrificing his daughter-in-law, Manohra, by fire. The ceremony for the sacrifice by fire is thus prepared. Manohra pretends to accept the sacrifice, but offers to delight the King with a farewell dance, with one proviso: that it will not be perfect unless she was given back her full dress, complete with the wings and tail, which were originally taken from her. Her demand was fulfilled, she dances a few rounds, then flies away to her homeland and escaped the deadly sacrifice.
The Kritda Pinihaan is the dance of benediction. The dance was created in 1982 to commemorate the 200 year anniversary of Bangkok as the capital. The dance appeals to divine beings, to bless us with all things good. The spreading of flowers signify those blessings.
This dance has an interesting history. Sriwichai was an ancient empire in Southeast Asia, include the southern part of Thailand, circa 700-800 AD. Historians believed that the center of empire was in Java. Indonesia. The costume and movements of this dance are a mixture of three cultures–Thai, Malaysian, and Indonesian. The dance was choreographed in 1967 at the request of the then Malaysian Prim Minister. To be used in the motion picture based on a historical book he wrote. Most of the movements of this dance are similar to the figures decorating the walls of the Borobudur Temple in Java, Indonesia.