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From: China Tibet Online 2011-06-23 14:11:00
by: Vincent Sun
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Inheritance of centuries-long Tibetan Opera

 The actors and teacher of Gyormolung Tibetan Opera troupe [Photo/China Tibet Online]

The actors and teacher of Gyormolung Tibetan Opera troupe [Photo/China Tibet Online]

In 2009, Tibetan Opera, a pearl in China's ethnic minority culture, was listed as a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by the United Nations' Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The Tibetan Opera is reputed as the "living fossil of traditional Tibetan culture". It is an ancient art form that originated from religious ritual dances and developed over the centuries.

A legend goes that Tibetan Opera (Blue Mask) was innovated on the basis of white mask rituals in the 14th century by an eminent lama Thangthong Gyalpo, who decided to organize artistic performances as a way of collecting funds to build bridges for the convenience of local pilgrims.

The performance group by Thangthong Gyalpo consisted of seven pretty sisters, whose performances marveled all the audiences. And people hailed the drum-cymbal-rhythmed art form as "Lhamo", which means "fairy" in Tibetan language.

The Blue Mask performance has developed over the past centuries into the mainstream Tibetan Opera. It is now roughly divided into four schools: Goinba, Gyanggar, Xangba and Gyormolung. Among the prominent schools, Gyormolung School is well-known with widespread influence.

Gyormolung Tibetan Opera troupe is in rehearsal.[Photo/China Tibet Online]

Gyormolung Tibetan Opera troupe is in rehearsal [Photo/China Tibet Online]

[editor : ]
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