Tibetan Yalong Song and Dance Troupe



Professional production

Sponsored by the Peoples Republic of China

This is a vividly coloured, professionally produced, sanitised snapshot of Tibetan culture in a manner designed for western consumption. The performance consisted of 14 separate segments presenting aspects of Tibetan life such as a dance outlining the intriguing process of making butter tea. These dances and songs drew the audience into the mountain environment of Tibet, but it was hard to get a feel for the real culture of the people behind the stylised songs of blissful new year, spring on the prairie and pure heart.

The costumes were lavish with one segment portrayed as a folk fashion show outlining the colourful costumes and folk customs of the Tibetan people passed down from many generations.

I was left wondering about the soul of the Tibetan people, their aspirations and where they are headed. Perhaps surtitles would have helped to understand the songs, or perhaps it was just a consequence of politically authorised culture on show.

Directed by Basang Lhamo, Drinsang, Basang Tsering, Janmpel, Tsering and Dawa Cholga.

Played 19 February 2005 only

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes including interval

— Matt Foley
(Performance seen: Fri 18th February 2005)