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Tibetan Monks Offer Program of Sacred Music and Sacred Dance to Introduce World Peace Conference

Mystical Arts of Tibet Performance:
Wednesday, May 17th, James A. Little Theater
Santa Fe, 7:00 p.m., $20.00
Contact: Ymelda De Vargas (505) 827-7340

The fabulous multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery, who travel around the country to promote peace, will perform “Sacred Music and Sacred Dance” on Wednesday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the James A. Little Theater to benefit the World Peace Conference that will be held here in the fall. Tickets are $20 and are available at the door or at the Ark Bookstore.

State Senator Shannon Robinson of Albuquerque will introduce the monks and announce the World Peace Conference, sponsored by the New Mexico Department of Tourism, to be held in the fall at the Capital in Santa Fe. The theme for the Conference is Giving Peace a New Face. The three-day event will explore the many facets of peace and will introduce the concepts of building environmentally sound, sustainable, peace-based economies. Nobel Peace Laureates and other dignitaries from around the world will be in attendance at the conference. The program will be announced at the concert.

The Sacred Music Sacred Dance tour is sponsored by Richard Gere Productions, Inc. and Drepung Loseling Institute, the North American Seat of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The tour has three basic purposes: to make a contribution to world healing and peace movements; to generate a greater awareness of the endangered Tibetan civilization; and to raise support for the refugee community in India.

The Drepung Loseling monks wear magnificent costumes and play traditional Tibetan instruments while performing ancient temple music and dance. They perform pieces believed to generate energies conducive to world healing. Their performance, which includes multiphonic singing chant masters, transcends time and place through rituals, joyous and hauntingly beautiful. Multiphonic singing requires the monks to simultaneously intone three notes of a chord. The Drepung Loseling monks are particularly renowned for this unique singing. They also utilize traditional instruments such as 10-feet long dungchen trumpets, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling horns. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion, add to the exotic splendor.

Drepung Loseling Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet in 1416 in order to preserve and transmit the ancient Buddhist arts and sciences. It had four departments, of which Loseling, or “The Hermitage of the Radiant Mind,” was the largest. Shortly after the Chinese communist invasion of Tibet in 1959, Drepung Loseling was closed. Most of its monks were either killed or put in concentration camps. Some managed to escape and re-establish the monastery in India, where they work to preserve Drepung Loseling’s ancient heritage by preserving the traditional training program. News of Loseling’s existence has spread through Central Asia, and over the years many more young spiritual aspirants have fled Chinese-occupied Tibet and sought entrance into the monastery. The number of monks presently in residence at the re-established Drepung Loseling has increased to more than 2,500. The monks are touring America to raise money for their monastery in exile.

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