By Lobsang Wangyal
McLEOD GANJ, India, 8 May 2019
In an event celebrating 60 years of training and performances, artistes of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) enthralled the audience, presenting dance and music by the two houses of the Institute — Gyalu and Ngonpa.
A three-member jury declared Ngonpa as the winner after each of the houses presented four items in singing and dancing.
Attending the event were members of the Cabinet and Secretaries of various departments of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), heads of NGOs, and other guests. Acting President of CTA Karma Gelek Yuthok was the chief guest.
In an unfortunate turn, Tibetan Settlement Officer Dawa Rinchen complained that he was not seated appropriately, and left the venue before the event started. “This is not the first time this has happened. It also occurred in 2017 and 2018 at a school anniversary. I hope next time Dhasa TSO receives better treatment,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
The programme was their annual Yarkyi cultural competition which is held to mark the founding day of TIPA, the pioneer Tibetan cultural institute established with the blessing and the direction of the Dalai Lama in 1959, months after he escaped in to exile in India.
It was initially established in Kalimpong, but the troupe relocated to McLeod Ganj in April 1961, and was initially housed at an old British cottage Conium House before building their own facilities.
The Institute trains young people in dance, music, and performing arts in order to preserve and promote traditional Tibetan performing arts and culture.
Ngawang Yonten, the new Director of TIPA, speaking to Tibet Sun said a new hall that will have better equipment and bigger space for audience is being built, and is expected to be completed in October.
A new teaching curriculum has been set for the ten-year course at the institute. “Apart from dance, music, and performing arts, we also teach Tibetan, English, and computing classes,” Yonten said.
He said that a grand 60th anniversary of TIPA will be organised at the end of October, in which an international performing arts conference will be held. Ex-TIPA artistes have been invited for the celebrations.