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Bhutan Photos: Performing Arts Center of Bhutan
Bhutanese dancer: Paro festival
Bhutanese dancer leaping while sounding a drum at Paro festival

Walking on air...

If I learned one thing during my trips to Bhutan it was this--that the performing arts are sacred, and touch the very core of Bhutan's culture. I captured this photo at a festival in Paro. Hundreds of dancers performed for an audience of thousands who arrived in their bright attire from the surrounding towns and villages.

Here they are performing the biography of Gyelpo Timey Kunden, who gave his eyes to a sightless man, a cultural reminder of the ideal of selfless generosity. Music, dance and theater are crucial to Bhutan's heart because the stories and tales they recount are reminders to the Bhutanese of their traditional values. This is why during this critical transition period Bhutan so desperately needs a performing arts center.


Sources of inspiration

Bhutan's survival depends upon its distinct identity. Folklore, myths, legends, dance, poetry, crafts and music create the rich tapestry of Bhutan's signature in our world. Their artistic cultural heritage must remain a source of inspiration to Bhutan's young people, future custodians of their country's distinct culture. For this they need the benefits of a performing arts center.

Bhutanese students learning to perform on instruments called tungchen.
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