Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tibetan experience through song and dance

I attended a Tibetan production "Kipo" last night at the University of Minnesota's Rarig Center.  It is fairly billed as "a circus of spirit, song and dance from Tibet, the land of snow." The performance incorporates beautiful costumes, music along with a talented and enthusiastic cast of characters.  The show portrays a young man's journey, which includes life in rural Tibet, travel across the country and a brief visit to a monastery.

The main character, Tenzin, loves music and dance, and is sent off to be a monk in Lhasa.  It is determined he would be a poor fit as a monk, and consequently is encouraged to follow his passion in the world of song and dance.  China's invasion of Tibet in 1959 requires Tenzin to travel to India in order to realize his dream, and be afforded artistic freedom.

The play is performed by  the world-renowned Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts and stars Tenzin Ngawang.  KIPO! means "happy" and celebrates the essential spirit of Tibet; the basic goodness that is inherent in all of us. More information about the play and theater company is available on the internet,

Following is a quote from the 14th Dalai Lama regarding happiness...

I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy.  From the moment of birth, every human being wants happiness and does not want suffering.  Neither social conditioning more education nor ideology affect this. From the very core of our being, we simply desire contentment.  I don't know whether the universe, with its countless galaxies, stars and planets, has a deeper meaning or not, but at the very lest, it is clear that we humans who live on this earth face the task of making a happy life for ourselves.  Therefore, it is important to discover what will bring about the greatest degree of happiness.

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