Tibetan composer's dance shows come to Beijing soon

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-12-15 07:10:19

Tibetan composer's dance shows come to Beijing soon

Enlightenment of Love is a dance adaptation of romantic Tibetan poems by Tsangyang Gyatso, the sixth Dalai Lama. [Photo/China Daily]

Tibetan composer Zahi Dorje, 50, still recalls the days of his youth, when sitting underneath the blue skies of his hometown, Yushu in the Tibetan autonomous prefecture of Qinghai province, he often read poems written by Tsangyang Gyatso (1683-1706), the sixth Dalai Lama.

The romantic poems, many of which have been adapted into love songs, inspired the young Dorje to become a composer later.

During his 20-year composing career, Zahi Dorje has written many popular Tibetan folk songs, including Mother's Sheepskin Jacket and Charming Kamba People. He also wrote more than 20 songs dedicated to the spiritual leader and his poems.

Now, as the director of Yushu Folk Song and Dance Troupe, Zahi Dorje has expanded his understanding for Tsangyang Gyatso's poems into a dance performance, titled Enlightenment of Love. The shows will be staged in Beijing on Friday and Saturday.

"I have had the idea of adapting his poems into a dance show since I joined the troupe. The more I read his poems, the more I understand that those lines were not just about love between a man and a woman, but also big love for the country and the people. I want to share this feeling with audiences," says Zahi Dorje.

His dream was realized when Yushu Kamba Art Center finished construction in March, as one of the most important post-earthquake reconstruction projects in Yushu, which was hit by a major quake in 2010.

Zahi Dorje wanted to celebrate the new lease of life for residents of Yushu, and presenting a new dance show at a newly built theater seemed like the perfect way to do it. Tsangyang Gyatso's Love Song, one of the first songs that he wrote, became the theme song for last year's show in Yushu.

Composed of three love stories, the dance performance features traditional Tibetan dance forms - zhuowu and kamba - said to have originated from Yushu. The Buddhist philosophy of the cycle of life, death and rebirth also helps dancers interpret the poems during shows.

According to Yeshe Dolmar, the producer of the performance, poems by Tsangyang Gyatso are not only widely read by Tibetan people, but also popular among people in other parts of China, especially after famous director Feng Xiaogang concluded his film If You Are the One 2 with one of Tsangyang Gyatso's poems, Shi Jie Shi (Ten Knots Poem).

"We want audiences to better understand the wisdom of Tsangyang Gyatso's poems and get inspired to deal with their own lives," says Yeshe Dolmar, 33, who was born in Yushu and grew up in Shanghai.

The dance performance premiered on June 1 at the Yushu Kamba Art Center. The troupe is expected to go on a national tour in 2015.


7:30 pm, Dec 19 and 20. Guo'an Theater, 16A Hua-yuan Donglu (East Road), Haidian district, Beijing. 400-610-3721

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