DHARAMSALA, 29 Oct: His Holiness the Dalai Lama today inaugurated and blessed the new auditorium of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts(TIPA).
The Tibetan spiritual leader visited the TIPA on the second day of the premier arts school in exile’s 60th-anniversary celebrations of its achievement in preservation and promotion of traditional performing arts of Tibet over the last six decades.
While addressing the congregation in the newly built state of the art auditorium of the TIPA, the Tibetan Nobel Laureate called on the younger generation Tibetans to shoulder the responsibility and built on the firm foundation of the institute built over the last six decades.
“As the founding members of the TIPA are now gradually passing away, the responsibility now befalls on the younger generations to march forward by building on the firm foundations laid by the older generations including the founding members over the last six decades.”
The Tibetan spiritual leader then extolled the Tibetan opera as a unique Tibetan tradition that people from other countries have failed to emulate.
“Though I have seen Tibetan dances being performed by the Chinese, till date I haven’t seen them perform Tibetan opera. It is, therefore, it is a unique Tibetan tradition that nobody was able to copy,” the Dalai Lama said.
As advised by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibetan opera, (Ache Lhamo) the ancient Tibetan festival which dates back to 18th Century was revived in exile by TIPA in 1993.
The tradition of performing Ache Lhamo is believed to have started by Thangtong Gyalpo, a Tibetan yogi and mystic in the 14th-century to raise funds to build iron suspension bridges to ease travel along the river-infested valleys of Tibet.
The Dalai Lama was also bestowed with an honorary award by the TIPA at the event.
TIPA, the premier arts school in exile that promotes and preserves a wide repertoire of musical, dance and theatrical traditions of Tibet was founded by the Dalai Lama on 11 August 1959 to preserve and promote Tibetan musical heritage and arts in exile.
“When the institute was founded in Kalimpong in exile, it started with 26 volunteers,” Ngawang Younten, the institute’s Director said and added that “the institute gradually expended as it now boasts over 500 members and staffs spread across 26 countries across the world.”
TIPA is among the very first Tibetan institutions set up in exile by the Tibetan spiritual leader. The institute is headquartered in Dharamsala, the exile headquarter.