"Somapa" is one who drinks the "soma," an elixir meant exclusively for the gods. The name "Somapa" therefore reflects the performers' inspiration to -- and transformation by -- the dance, much as if they themselves have taken a drink of the sacred "soma."
The Somapa Thai Dance Company, based in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area, has been actively giving performances, presentations, classes, and workshops since 1999.
Key performers have over 30 years of performance experience, having been trained in Thailand with the most celebrated dance masters including National Artists and others from the prestigious Department of Fine Arts in Bangkok, Thailand. The group has performed extensively in the D.C. Metropolitan area and has been invited to perform in many prestigious locations in the U.S. and outside the U.S.
The Somapa Thai Dance Company's mission is to preserve and promote Thai culture and arts in the Americas. Through performances and workshops, the Company hopes to encourage understanding and appreciation of the arts between people of different countries, cultures and ethnicities in the communities in which we are invited.
In the 1970's, Somapa Co-Founders Kotchakorn Thepnorarat and Suteera Nagavajara started their Thai classical dance training with Mom Rajawongse Aurachatra Songthong at the Rajatat Natasin School in Bangkok, Thailand.
In the 1990's Suteera Nagavajara continued her training with her two dance masters - the late National Artist in Performing Arts Ms. Jamrieng Phuthpradab and Mrs. Komkai Klinpakdee. Suteera visits Thailand regularly and still trains with Mrs. Klinpakdee, who has recently retired from the Bundit Patanasilp Institute, Bangkok's oldest music and performing arts school.
We would like to acknowledge and pay the highest respect to all our teachers, their teachers, and the knowledge and ancient traditions that they have passed down to us from generation to generation.