Skip to main content

Calendar

  July 2024
MTWTFSS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31 1 2 3 4

Dates

Sun 15 Sep, 8pm

Tickets

€25/22 (+ booking fee)

Book Now Accessibility
Bookings

Tashi Lhunpo Monsatery UK Trust

Tibetan Monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery

From the Roof of the World


Tibet – the Land of Snows: home to Buddhist lamas whose ancient rituals have fascinated people for centuries. Eight Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery present From the Roof of the World: chant, mantras, music and dance opening a magical window on to a world of reincarnation and mysticism which has inspired audiences in theatres and festivals since they were first seen in Europe a hundred years ago in 1924.

From the mesmerising chant of Buddhist texts to swirling costumed masked dances accompanied by ancient Tantric musical instruments: horns made from human leg bones, skull-drums, cymbals, bells and the great dungchen (long horns), the monks evoke the atmosphere of sacred Tibet: an experience of an ancient, endangered culture. 

In 1924, an extraordinary silent film was made by Captain John Noel documenting the ill-fated attempt at the summit of Mount Everest by climbers George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. To promote The Epic of Everest, the filmmakers invited Buddhist monks from Tibet to travel to the west for the very first time to perform their magical masked dance and sacred music at screenings of the film. Unfortunately, the depiction of some of the Tibetan people in Captain Noel’s film, a protest by the Great 13th Dalai Lama and concern about the monks’ performances of ritual dances caused a wave of public outrage, leading to what became known as "The Affair of the Dancing Lamas". Further attempts at an ascent of Everest were banned by the Tibetan Government, and as a result of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949 and the later Cultural Revolution, authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture was not seen in the west again for many decades.
 
Now, a hundred years later, the monks of Tashi Lhunpo present the same traditional Cham Dance and monastic music which captivated the pioneering mountaineers a century ago. A group of Tibetan monks from their exiled monastery in India are now able to share their unique culture with the outside world and present a majestic programme of masked dances and sacred chant. Tibetan cham dance originated with the great masters of ancient lineages in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. They are the living embodiment of a thousand years of philosophy and hundreds of years of ancient wisdom distilled into prayers for peace and harmony. Introductions between each of the items of the programme explain the stories behind the dances and the meaning of the prayers. No prior knowledge is assumed or needed.