Music and Dance


A lecture-cum-demonstration of secular Tibetan music took place at Tibet House in New Delhi in 1994. It was a unique presentation by a group of musicians led by Zholkhang Sonam Dhargye who is perhaps the most active exponent of Tibetan music in Tibet. He has been engaged in research and writing on this subject for many years.


A performance of Tibetan monastic dance at the India International Centre demonstrated the distinct dance styles of Tibet. Fifteen monks from the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal Pradesh and the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery in Karnataka evoked the Istadevatas and Dharmapalas.


In collaboration with India International Centre, Tibet House organized an evening of Tibetan songs and music entitled “Dang-Nyen: Melodies from Tibet” on April 26, 2002. Ms. Kelsang Chukie Tethong, a noted singer from Dharamsala, accompanied by artistes on traditional Tibetan instruments, enchanted the audience with classical and folk songs from the Land of Snow. The chanting of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum was followed by a tune on the irrelevance of external possessions. While one of the songs was based on a poem by the 6th Dalai Lama, another (now banned in China) cryptically praised His Holiness the present Dalai Lama. Demonstrating different regions and moods, the wellchosen repertoire put across a wide canvas of music, from melodies describing the natural beauty of Tibet’s mountains to those where nature is a metaphor for qualities of the mind, from plaintive laments of solitary lovers to joyous songs of celebration.


At the invitation of Kathak dancer Shovana Narayan, Tibet House took a group of ten monks from the Sera and Drepung monasteries to participate in the Pune Festival from September 10-20, 2002. The festival began with auspicious chanting by Shovana Narayan and the monks. On the following day the monks accompanied Shovana’s dance on Buddhist themes with chants, and performance of monastic cham dances.