Thursday, 10 September 2009

Tibetan Dance Performance 1

We waited for the coach at the Yeti Cafe for quite a bit before it came. We were worried that we might have missed it and the Singaporean tourists who were with us made some calls to the guides to check if they were on their way. While waiting, mum and sis went to check out the bakery that was right next to the restaurant. They were selling an assortment of cakes with cream toppings of many colours.

The Tibetan cultural performance is held at the Tibetan Arts Center which is located at the Beijing West Road in Lhasa. The troupe performs every night at 8.15pm. Bookings can be made by calls through these numbers 0891-6532222 and 0891-6866666. This is supposedly the Tibet largest ever Tangka singing and dancing show and a report of this can be found here. The performance is called "Happiness on the way" and it also uses the stage which was dedicated to the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

I am absolutely blown away by the quality of the performance. The stage is so high-tech and the lighting is wonderful! I don't really know what flaws there are to point out. The dancing, the songs, the display of traditional costumes and musical instruments, the plot and the meaning with relevance to Tibetan culture, they were all fantastic to watch. Famous composers, directors, costume and stage designers, and dancers put their sweat in this show and their brilliance truly shine through the performance. I was completely engaged with the performance the whole time and it's really difficult not to. It was passionate and beautiful.

The show features happiness in the different elements; water, earth, wind, fire and sky and the relevance of these elements with the Tibetan way of life. To start each of these sections, a poem symbolic of these meanings were displayed on the projector screen. It was all so profound and beautiful. This is art worthy of moving tears!

The show started with the prologue, Open the door to happiness, praying for happiness. Here, the golden key to happiness is passed to the little children and they are to find the shambala door to happiness. The lighting changes like magic as the stage moves from scenes to scenes. The stage floor even breaks apart for the dancers to emerge from the ground! What a start to the show!

Beautifully lit stage and theatre

The stage floor opening up for the dancers

Dancers coming from behind the theatre

Dancers heading towards the stage

The key of happiness

The key is passed to two human children

A dancer emerging from the door on the brilliant backdrop

Act 1 features Water as the source of life for seeking happiness.

Dancers creating waves

Lovely costumes of pearly white

Bull boat dance. It is made with a wooden skeleton and yak skin is sewn into it.

Waves overflowing into the audience

Man at a traditional musical instrument

Act 2 features the kindness of Mother Earth in nurturing happiness

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