Saturday 16 November | 8pm | £12 adv | £14 on door
THE POWER OF COMPASSION – SACRED DANCE AND MUSIC FROM TIBET
“…a window of time onto a magical universe of reincarnation and release…” – The Independent
Tibet – the Land of Snows: home to Buddhist lamas whose ancient rituals have fascinated people for thousands of years. ‘The Power of Compassion’ presents chant, mantras, music and dance by eight Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery who open a magical window on to a world of reincarnation and Buddhist mysticism which has inspired audiences in theatres and festivals throughout Europe. From the contemplative, mesmerising chant of Buddhist texts to swirling costumed masked dances accompanied by ancient Tantric musical instruments including horns made from human leg bones, skull-drums, cymbals, bells and with the shattering sound of the dungchen (long horns), the Monks evoke the atmosphere of sacred Tibet: an experience of an ancient culture accessible to all, with introductory explanations offering additional insight into this endangered world.
Founded by the first Dalai Lama in 1447 in Shigatse, Central Tibet, Tashi Lhunpo is one of the most important monasteries in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and is the seat of the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet after the Dalai Lama. Now re-established in exile in South India, with the support of the present 14th Dalai Lama, it is one of the major centres of Buddhist learning, best known for its unique tradition of masked dances and sacred music, the first in the Gelug or Yellow Hat school of Tibetan Buddhism.
‘…a psychedelic whirl of chanting, dancing, drums, cymbals…’ – The Times
The eight Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery introduce details of the beautiful costumes worn in the dances of the Gutor Festival at Tibetan New Year, and invite you to learn a few of the steps. A demonstration and explanation of Taksel, the art of dialectical debate, and an opportunity to learn some of the intricate mudras (hand gestures) from Tantric prayer offer an insight into life in a Buddhist monastery.
Suitable for anyone over 10. More details to be announced soon.