From the Roof of the World

From the Roof of the World

Main Space

Wed 02 October


In 1924, an extraordinary silent film was made by Captain John Noel documenting the ill-fated attempt at the summit of Mount Everest by climbers George Mallory and Sandy Irvine. To promote 'The Epic of Everest', the film makers invited Buddhist monks from Tibet to travel to the West for the very first time to perform their magical masked dance and sacred music at screenings of the film.  Unfortunately, the depiction of some of the Tibetan people in Captain Noel’s film, a protest by the Great 13th Dalai Lama and concern about the monks’ performances of ritual dances caused a wave of public outrage, leading to what became known as ‘The Affair of the Dancing Lamas’.  Further attempts at an ascent of Everest were banned by the Tibetan Government, and as a result of the Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1949 and the later Cultural Revolution, authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture was not seen in the West again for many decades. 

Now, a hundred years later, the monks of Tashi Lhunpo present From the Roof of the World featuring the same traditional Cham Dance and monastic music which captivated the pioneering mountaineers a century ago.  A group of Tibetan monks from their exiled monastery in India are now able to share their unique culture with the outside world and present a majestic programme of masked dances and sacred chant with accompanying exhibitions of Tibetan Tantric sand mandalas and interactive workshops.  


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