Edinburgh Fringe 2010
A showcase of cultural dances and meditations from the Tibetan Monks of Tashi Lhunpo Monastery.
If you’re looking for some cultural education and a visual spectacle, then Venue 40 has a special show on this fringe. Monks from Tashi Lhunpo in Tibet (a seat of the Panchen Lamas, second only in importance to the Dalai Lama) have put together a showcase of traditional and spiritual dances, meditations, and philosophical debates in order to raise awareness of the work of the monastery and their threatened spiritual heritage. The theatrical performance reveals an endangered tradition, now exiled in India, and is a rare spectacle and kalidescopic wonder.
It is an interesting and beautiful display – certainly worth going to if you want to learn about the life the monks have sought to preserve against severe opposition over recent years. Their ceremonial costumes are amazingly ornate, and the great wealth of symbolism in their ritual is pleasingly explained throughout the demonstration. To unaccustomed Western ears, some of the music will take some getting used to, but if you want to learn something new, and experience something different, this is a unique opportunity to see an art form and way of life at risk of extinction.