Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
THE UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
The Royal Dancers and Musicians
from the Kingdom of Bhutan
DASHO SITHE, Director Dancers
Gyaltshen Namgyel Dorji Gyaltshen Chungwa Hap Tsencho Khamtoo Gyaltshen
Musicians Pau Tshering
Saturday Evening, March 15, 1980, at 8:30 Rackham Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Except for folk dance, most of the dances and dance-dramas of Bhutan are rooted in the religious doctrine of Buddhism. Even if a dance-drama deals with secular themes, there is always a religious lesson to be learned. Audiences in Bhutan look at their dance as more than mere entertainment. They feel fortunate to be able to see a per?formance which will instruct them in leading a good and pure life. This does not prevent the inclusion in dance-dramas of lewd and satirical bits, usually performed by servants and clowns, which mock love, religious fanaticism, the upper classes, and everyday human foibles. The clowns participate in the dance festivals from beginning to end, entertaining the audience between dances, serving as stage hands, and keeping the crowds from encroaching on the dance area. All the dancers are male and perform both male and female roles.
101st Season --Fifty-fifth Concert
Ninth Annual Choice Series
This is a dance of the saints as they ascend to heaven.
The clowns' entrance means the play is about to begin. Two noblemen with their male servant (his dark face denotes he is old and of a lower class) enter, followed by two noble ladies with their female servant. The ladies ask: "Whence do you hail" The noblemen reply: "From Eastern India." The ladies ask to be taken on the noblemen's journey, but the noblemen reply that there would be no shelter available on the trip. The ladies ask for something to remember them by, and the noblemen comply. They first give the ladies rings (the old female servant, too, receives one from the old man). The ladies ask for more, they want the silver mirror-pendants on the noblemen's chests. The noblemen agree again, and then go on their journey. As they depart, the servant immediately calls for wine which is brought by a clown in a tall wooden vessel. He tries to serve the ladies, but the female servant snatches the cup away--her old lover threatens to beat her, but inadvertently beats one of the ladies instead! He gives the old woman some betel nuts, then leaves her to flirt with the ladies. She runs after him. A love scene follows in which the old man tries to get away from the old woman who has cleverly tied him to her. He manages to steal away and goes back to the ladies. The clowns take the opportunity to take his place with the old woman. When she notices the hoax, she is furious and runs off to tell the noblemen of the infidelity of their ladies. The noblemen come back with their swords drawn to punish the ladies by cutting off their noses. The old male servant does the same to his woman. The clowns decide to get a doctor so that the ladies will be beautiful again. The doctor asks for a contract before going on the journey and he also wants a horse. The clown becomes a horse and carries him on his back with minor mishaps. The doctor takes the first lady's pulse and quickly steals a kiss before treating her nose. He repeats the performance with the second lady. He then asks for money but is pushed away before the old woman has been treated. She demands medicine. He doesn't want to go near her since she is so dirty, so he swabs her nose with a long stick. She is so delighted that she kisses him which in turn makes him sick. All ends happily with the ladies and the gentlemen reunited.
Shawo Shachi (The Deer and the Dogs)
Two clowns appear, followed by the hunter's servant and a dog. The servant boasts that he can jump high. The clown imitates him, poking fun at him because he does not jump very high. The servant then urges the dog to jump. He also threatens to cut off the clowns' legs, arms and necks because they are mocking him. The dog, at his master's bidding, jumps very high and then both of them chase the clowns. The servant becomes tired and wants to sleep. He urges the clowns not to tell the hunter where he is. The hunter appears with his own dog and calls his servant. The latter does not answer, but the clowns wake him up. The servant tells the master that he has found a good resting place and that he should come there. The two dogs dance together, happily. The servant greets the hunter the wrong way, turning his back to him while bowing. The clowns show him how to do it properly, but again he does it wrong. The hunter is angry with the servant for having run away and tries to hit him with his bow. Then he calms down and asks his servant to dance. The servant obliges and dances to the following song:
Up in the sky
The day, the time and the stars
Are auspicious today.
On the earth
There is bright sunshine and
In between the sky and the ground
The day, the time and the stars
The servant dances but the hunter says this is a "low class" dance. He'll show him ho'v to dance properly. He then dances to the following song:
Under the sky
With the eight spokes of the wheel
On the earth
Which is like a lotus with eight petals
In between the sky and the earth are signs.
With my voice so beautiful,
I offer a melodious song.
In the meantime the dogs have captured the deer for the hunter. The hunter goes after the deer with his servant and a rope. But they cannot catch him because the servant does not cooperate, and the deer runs away to a yogi who welcomes him and sings:
I salute my teacher, the great Marpa Through whose blessings
All living beings may cross this world of sorrows. You, the deer with the many-pointed horns Body of a deer with the many-pointed horns Listen to my song.
The hunter asks the servant to look for the dogs and deer. The servant reports that they are in a yogi's care, but that the road is impassable. The hunter insists that they go and falls over a rock on the road. He lies there unconscious. The servant, thinking his master is dead, steals all his master's clothes and dances in jubilation. But the hunter awakens from his faint. The hunter now shoots an arrow at the yogi, but since the yogi is invincible, the arrow comes back. He shoots again and it comes back again. The yogi pacifies the hunter, singing to him:
I salute my teacher, the great Marpa
Through whose blessings
I, the humble yogi may accomplish my meditation in solitude.
You, with the body of a human being
With the face of a demon
Human being with the face of a demon
Listen to my song
Listen to me, Milarepa.
The hunter, moved by Milarepa's song, chants "OM MANE PADME HUM." (By chanting these six syllables, a person may attain enlightenment.) The hunter promises not to kill anymore. He offers his scarf, his bow and arrow to the yogi, singing:
The deer which is on your right
If I kill it, it can feed me for seven days
But I don't wish to eat it
And am offering it to you
The bow which I hold in my left hand If I pull the string and let loose The sound produced is like that of thunder But, I don't want it, and I offer it to you Oh Lama.
The yogi blesses all by striking his drum.
Durdag (The Lords of the Cremation Ground)
The skin of a human, representing the evil spirits is brought in by the lords of the cremation ground. The purpose of the dance is to exorcise these spirits.
Ging Solim (Celestial Beings and Serpent Spirits)
The gings are celestial beings who bestow blessings with their drumming. They have come to earth to fight with the serpent spirits of the sea who are trying to prevent Lama Padmalingpa from removing a treasure from the sea. The gings battle with the serpent spirits. During the battle, the lama obtains the treasure and the gings make the serpent spirits flee. Then the gings dance in celebration.
Royal Dancers and Musicians
Situated in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, the Kingdom of Bhutan borders the countries of India, Sikkim, and China. For centuries, trade routes passed through Bhutan between India and Tibet, exposing the Bhutanese to the many rich and varied cultures of Asia. The most influential of these has been Tibetan Buddhism, and it is these stories from Buddhist legend and Bhutanese folklore that are enacted this evening by the Royal Dancers from this country of 1,200,000 people. The troupe is in the middle of a coast-to-coast tour of the United States, high?lighting the first appearance of traditional, authentic Bhutanese performing arts anywhere in the West. Ann Arbor is one of 24 American cities privileged to experience these legends brought to life through music, dance, pantomime, masks, and costumes.
Jury's Irish Cabaret of Dublin........Tues. Mar. 18
Yehudi and Hephzibah Menuhin, Violinist & Pianist . . . Wed. Mar. 19
Brahms: Sonata No. 2 in A major; Bach: Partita No. 3; Franck: Sonata in A major; Bartok: Rumanian Dances; Debussy: La Fille aux cheveux de lin; Wieniawski: Scherzo and Tarantelle.
New World String Quartet.........Wed. Mar. 26
Beethoven: Quartet in G major, Op. 18, No. 2; Leslie Bassett: Fourth String Quartet (world premiere); Dvorak: Quartet in A-flat major, Op. 10S.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Sergiu Comissiona . . . Wed. Apr. 2
Mozart: Sinfonia Concertante for Woodwinds; Borodin: Polovtzian Dances from Prince Igor (with the Festival Chorus) ; Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2.
Sherrill Milnes, Baritone.........Mon. Apr. 14
Arias by Verdi, de Mondonville, Gretry; Songs by Lully, Strauss, Duparc, Finzi, Somervell, Loehr, Jordan.
Quartetto Italiano (sold out)........Thurs. Apr. 17
Ann Arbor May Festival
Wednesday-Saturday, April 23, 24, 25, 26, in Hill Auditorium
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Eugene Ormandy, Music Director and Conductor
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Guest Conductor
UNIVERSITY MUSICAL SOCIETY
Burton Memorial Tower, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109 Phones: 665-3717, 764-2538