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<-Back to WTN Archives His Holiness the Dalai Lama graces the 10th Shoton Festival (TN)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

5. His Holiness the Dalai Lama graces the 10th Shoton Festival (TN)


Daramsala, March 23 - His Holiness the Dalai Lama today blessed the 10th
annual opera festival (Shoton) as the chief guest at the Tibetan Institute
of Performing Arts (TIPA), the only organisation under the Tibetan
administration founded with a mission to preserve the unique tradition of
Tibetan performing arts.

Opera troupes from TIPA, Bylakuppee, Mungod, Bhandara, Mainpat, Nepal,
Mussoorie and Kalimpong will perform Tibetan operas during the next nine
days of the festival which has its origin in Tibet.

Ms. Kalsang Youdon Dagpo read out the annual report and expressed gratitude
on her institute's and the troupes' behalf to His Holiness the Dalai Lama
for gracing the occasion. Also present as guests were the 17th Karmapa,
Kyabje Ling Rinpoche and other lamas, Justice Commissioners of the Tibetan
Supreme Justice Commission, officials of the Central Tibetan Administration
and representatives of the various non-governmental organisations.

Unlike earlier Shoton festivals hosted at TIPA, the guests and audience were
served yoghurt following the Shoton tradition of Tibet.

Before leaving shortly after the recess, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke
to the gathering of approximately 2000 people. His Holiness said that the
opera masters have worked so hard to preserve the opera tradition amongst
the Tibetan exile community and that the people should pray for the
dedicated opera masters who had contributed immensely to the Tibetans during
their lifetime.

His Holiness also expressed pleasure over the fact that many youngsters have
begun showing interest in the Tibetan opera.

"With its roots in the masked dance-drama tradition of the Tibetan Royal
Dynastic period (6th-9th Centuries), the development of Lhamo is attributed
to the 14th century's highly realised teacher and self-made engineer,
Thangtong Gyalpo. Thangtong Gyalpo perceived the power of the performance as
a medium of telling moral tales, based on Buddhist philosophy, in the words
of the common people. Lhamo is a daylong performance played outdoors,
traditionally under a large circular canvas tent, through a unique style of
sung dialogue (arias), dance and pantomime. The music is simple, however the
cymbals and drum create a remarkable atmosphere. Costumes generally imitate
those of the Tibetan aristocracy, and some characters wear masks, which
portray their personality with bold symbolism", explains the institute's

Articles in this Issue:
  1. False congratulation letter
  2. U.S. to Criticize China's Human Rights (AP)
  3. China Suspends Human Rights Dialogue with U.S. (Reuters)
  4. Text of the statement on the U.N Resolution by U.S. State Department
  5. His Holiness the Dalai Lama graces the 10th Shoton Festival (TN)
  6. China works for inclusion of Tibetan kingdom ruins on world heritage list (PD)

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