Carry on Tibetan Art Tradition
   2011-05-17 16:15:28    tibet.cn      Web Editor: Zhang
The Tibetan Opera is an inseparable cog in the wheel of Tibetan culture. The age-old art form is very popular in southwest China, especially in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The art form is characterized by its strong flavor of Tibetan Buddhism in expression techniques and content.

Backed by the fast drumbeats, local Tibetan Opera artists are busy rehearsing one of their repertory programs. Although it's still days before they take the stage for a formal show, the rehearsal attracts crowds of people from villages nearby.

The centuries-old Tibetan Opera is hailed as the living fossil of the Tibetan culture. It is a comprehensive art of performance that tells stories through songs and dances.

Over the years the local government has spent over six million yuan supporting and encouraging the development of local Tibetan Opera troupes. Thanks to the efforts, around a dozen non-governmental art groups, which were once on the verge of dissolution have been re-established and reinforced.

Tibetan Opera was inscribed into the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list last year. The batch of recognized cultural legacies also included Tibetan Thangka, a kind of traditional Tibetan paintings or embroideries.

Over the past five years the Tibet Autonomous Region of China has invested more than 44-million yuan in protecting local intangible cultural legacies, and helped establish systematic networks of all levels for passing on their art tradition.

The results are evident. So far, Tibetan Opera and a local ballad called Gesar have gained international recognition. And sixty local intangible cultural heritage have made it onto the national protection list. A total of 188 artists of various genres have been commissioned as representative inheritors.

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