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Performing Art

(1) Singing and dancing

All Tibetans can sing and dance. There is a saying going like this: Tibetans who can speak can sing; Tibetans who can walk can dance. Different regions of Tibet have different songs and dances. The major ones are Guoxie with participants dancing hand in hand according to the rhythm stamped by their feet, which is popular in rural areas; Duixie, a kind of tap dance; Nangma, a royal dance which focuses on singing; Daxie, a round dance in forest areas which is strong and marks rhythms by stamping feet; Guozhuo (or Guozhuang), popular among farmers and herdsmen; Reba bells and drums dance; Semazhuo, a kind of big drum dance in rear Tibet; Zhuoxie, a group dance with oval waist drums; Leixie, aiming at stimulating labourers; enthusiasm; Qamo, commonly known as sorcerer's dance and Ga'er, a kind of musical dance enjoyed by imperial officials.

(2) Opera

Tibetan Opera develops from Tibetan dances. It is one of the oldest traditional operas on Chinese stage and a gem of Tibetan traditional art treasure house. The subjects often come from folk legends or religious stories of Tibet. The traditional plays are "Eight Tibetan Operas." In performing, actors and actresses need to sing, speak and dance, while the singing is either in chorus or solo. The performers are dressed in colorful costumes and wear various specially made masks and props. The Tibetan Opera has a lot of facial masks, each with a different meaning. The white and blue masks signify two Tibetan Opera classes. The traditional Tibetan Opera has no strict requirement about performing site and can be performed anywhere. On each festival, the Tibetan Opera will be performed. The Tibetan Opera performance has become an important part of the Shoton Festival in Lhasa. Today with more plays, more mature performance and improved stage effect and application of sound, light and electricity technologies, the Tibetan Opera is attracting more and more people .Many Tibetan play newly edited or adapted are deeply loved not only by Tibetans themselves but by overseas audiences.

(3) Ballad-singing

Ballad singing is popular among Tibetans. It can be performed by one man or more than two persons. Sometimes it is accompanied with musical instruments. The longest heroic epic in the world, "King Gesar," was handed down from one generation to another by ballad singing. "King Gesar" had been created successively since the 11th century, forming a group of heroic images headed by "King Gesar" who fought bravely and wisely against evil forces. The epic boasts a long story, unusual plots, beautiful language and clear themes. It also truly recorded the scenes of social life of ancient Tibetans. The epic is deeply loved by Tibetans. There are special balladeers or manuscripts of the epic around Tibet. China has also set up special institutions to research, sort out and translates "King Gesar."

8 Days Lhasa to Kathmandu Himalayan Panoramic Tour