This is the second in a series of films about the role of dance in Asia’s cultures, which is is often of central importance to their cultures. Today’s film is from the Drametse Monastery in eastern Bhutan, and follows the preparations for one of the important dance festivals of the year.
We first meet with some of the masters of the monastery, including the dance master, who is passing his responsibilities on to a young disciple before retiring into retreat to prepare for his passing.
We also follow a monk simply identified as Khenpo (Professor) on his journey to Timphou the capital, where we also see attempts are underway to preserve on film the complex dance that is unique to this monastery.
We learn about life in the monastery and the different roles that people undertake, and how they interpret these roles, making them more meaningful.
And eventually it leads up to the dance held in the monastery itself, which was no doubt meant to be the climax of the film: unfortunately it is all but rained off, and only portions of the dance are seen at the end.
Still we see the efforts being made to preserve this important dance in Bhutan, and how young people are still taking up and preserving the culture that embodies their tradition.
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