Monks from Tibet’s legendary Drepung Loseling Monastery will present The Mystical Arts of Tibet: Sacred Music, Sacred Dance at 8 p.m. April 29-30 at Edison Theatre.
The concert — presented by the Edison Theatre OVATIONS! Series — will offer a rare opportunity to experience temple music and dance from one of the world’s most ancient sacred traditions, as performed by monks for whom these traditions remain a way of life.
In addition, the monks will present an all-ages matinee as part of the ovations! for young people series at 11 a.m. April 30.
First launched in 1988, Sacred Music, Sacred Dance is co-sponsored by Richard Gere Productions Inc. with the blessings of the Dalai Lama. It features a dozen monks performing nine pieces believed to generate energies conducive to inner peace and world healing.
The performance highlights multiphonic singing, in which the monks simultaneously intone three notes of a chord, as well as traditional Tibetan instruments such as 10-foot-long dungchen trumpets, drums, bells, cymbals and gyaling horns. Rich brocade costumes and masked dances, such as the “Dance of the Sacred Snow Lion,” add to the splendor.
Mandala Sand Painting exhibit
In conjunction with their Edison Theatre performances, the Drepung Loseling monks will be in residence at the Saint Louis Art Museum (SLAM) April 26-May 1 for an exhibition/demonstration of traditional Tantric dul-tson-kyil-khor, or painting with colored sand. (The term literally translates as “mandala of colored powder.”)
Mandala Sand Painting: The Architecture of Enlightenment will open with a ceremony at noon April 26 and will continue daily through April 30. A closing ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. May 1.
For more information, call SLAM at 721-0072.
The Drepung Loseling monks have performed at festivals, universities and auditoriums around the country, including such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
The have performed with artists such as Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Natalie Merchant and the Beastie Boys, as well as in the premiere live presentation of Philip Glass’ Academy Award-nominated score for Martin Scorsese’s film Kundun (1997).
The Drepung Loseling monks are also featured on the Golden Globe-nominated soundtrack for Seven Years in Tibet (1997) starring Brad Pitt, as well as in their own recordings, the best-selling Sacred Tibetan Temple Music (1988) and Sacred Music, Sacred Dance (1993).
The Drepung Loseling Monastery was established near Lhasa, Tibet, in 1416 and was especially close to the Dalai Lama incarnations: the Second Dalai Lama made his residence there in 1494, and subsequent incarnations maintained the link.
In 1959, after China’s invasion of Tibet, the monks re-established the monastery in Karnataka State, South India. In 1991, they also established a North American seat, the Drepung Loseling Institute, now affiliated with Emory University.
Edison Theatre programs are supported by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis.
Tickets are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office and through all MetroTix outlets.
Costs are $28; $24 for seniors and WUSTL faculty and staff; and $18 for students and children.
Tickets for the April 30 matinee are $7.
For more information, call 935-6543.