Tibetan Culture Comes Alive in Music & Dance

Saturday, September 28th, I had the opportunity to attend the CHAKSAM-PA: Classical and Folk Music of Tibet, performance at The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Ethnic performances have always interested me, and when I heard that Chaksam-Pa was coming to Southern California, I reserved the date, looking forward to an evening of cultural wonderment, and I was not disappointed.

The performers, all accomplished virtuosos in their craft, were attired in traditional Tibetan clothing, and played original ethic instruments. Selections ranged from solo A Cappella to lively dances performed by the musicians as they played and sang. The energy given off by the performers affected the total theater, resulting in rousing applause cumulating in a cheering standing ovation. If I were to have any criticism of the evening, it would be that it ended too soon.

It is amazing that these performers, all refugees, have been able to come together and share the culture of Tibet keeping the Classical and Folk music alive with minimal financial support, but for the love of their Homeland.

Since the 1951 invasion of Tibet by the People’s Republic of China, the rich traditions of Tibetan music, dance, and drama have been suppressed in an effort to appropriate this ancient and vibrant culture. Yet the art survives in refugee settlements, and in Los Angeles, now on the Getty Center stage. I would urge everyone to come and enjoy a Chaksam-Pa performance, and support these dynamic and talented musicians keeping the Culture and Music of Tibet alive.

Henry Reid
Apsaroke Studios