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19:34 Sep 27 2011

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Dance to bring Tibetan culture, religion to Beijing
08:49, April 14, 2010  

Beijingers will have a chance for some Tibetan culture and religion when Sky and Heaven comes to the Great Hall of the People on May 3.

The dance drama tells the life story about Je Tsongkhapa, a religious teacher who founded the Gelug school of Buddhism. Starting with his unusual birth, the performance follows of Tsongkhapa whose name means "man from onion valley," as he leaves behind his mother to find Buddhism until the two are reunited in heaven. Director Gao Du said he hopes to move audiences with the love between mother and son.

The dance made its debut in Xining, Qinghai Province, last May before moving on to other cities, including Xiamen and Shanghai, where it was warmly welcomed by audience. The production team spent three years preparing the dance, collecting almost 3,000 Tibetan costumes and musical instruments. With the help of modern technology, the performance includes religious dance and music on a Tibetan plateau.

"We want to show Tibetan dance in a new way," Gao said. "Every move was created based on the original one. Unlike some other dance shows which use electronic facilities to create special sound effect, our dancers beat a real leather drum to make the sound."

The dance also incorporates Tibetan antelopes and pottery to reflect Tibetan nature and civilization. It is sponsored by the Xining government, Xining Culture, Broadcast and TV Bureau and Xining Tourism Bureau. Leading modern dancers, including Wang Yabin, Feng Ye and Wu Sha, play the main characters.
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