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Samthrang Monastery Dance Preservation

Successful dance restoration begins at the Samthrang Monastery in Bhutan, with support from a Core of Culture Seed Grant
Samten Yeshe visiting the Songtsen Library in Dehra Dun, part of the Driking Kagyu Center there.

Under the direction on Samten Yeshi, the performance of several eleventh century mask dances connected to the Samthrang Monastery in Bhutan were revived in partial form December 2014.Project SupportThe effort to preserve the long lineage of these dances is ongoing. Samthrang Monastery has been the recipient of two Core of Culture Seed Grants in 2014 and 2015. It represents a reliable collaboration between local dancers and CoC.

“New costumes have been created, and from one person who knew all the choreographic knowledge, now as many as 6 dancers also know all the steps. The revived dances we shown at the Great Shravasti Cultural Assembly in 2015, marking their first ever performance outside Bhutan. Samthrang Monastery is now focused on establishing a monastery school to raise and train young monks who will be dancers in the future. The dances were documented in 2014, but remain to be thoroughly explained by the our patriarch, the Samthrang Chojey.” -Samten Yeshe, Director of Samthrang Cham Revival.

For more information about the Samthrang Monastery please visit their website. For updates on Core of Culture’s fieldwork and Seed Grant recipients, or how you can lend your support to projects like these, please subscribe to the Core of Culture Newsletter.